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The Brian Tracy eBook - Principles Of Success

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About Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy is one of the world's leading authorities on

personal and business success. His fast-moving talks and
seminars on leadership, sales, managerial effectiveness and
business strategy are loaded with powerful, proven ideas
and strategies that people can apply immediately to get
better results in every area.

Visit Brian Tracy’s web site and take advantage of Brian’s

FREE audio program offer - 21 Success Secrets Of Self
Made Millionaires.


• A Balanced Life
• Becoming A Person Of Integrity
• Cultivating Your Self-Esteem
• Empowering Others
• Everyone’s A Sales Person
• Gaining Visibility
• Generating Energy
• Leading & Motivating
• Make Every Minute Count
• Making The Most Of Change
• Managing Your Time
• Setting Priorities
• The Power Of Charisma
• The Power Of Positive Self Talk

Brian Tracy’s articles are the property of Brian Tracy International – All Rights Reserved
A Balanced Life
By: Brian Tracy

According to psychologist Sidney Jourard, fully 85 percent of your happiness in life

will come from your personal relationships. Your interactions and the time that you
spend with the people you care about will be the major source of the pleasure,
enjoyment and satisfaction that you derive daily. The other 15 percent of your
happiness will come from your accomplishments. Unfortunately, many people lose sight
of what is truly important, and they allow the tail to wag the dog. They sacrifice their
relationships, their major source of happiness, to accomplish more in their careers. But
one’s career, at best, can be only a minor source⎯and a temporary one, at that⎯of the
happiness and satisfaction that everyone wants.

There is no perfect answer to the key question of how to achieve balance in our lives,
but there are a number of ideas that can help you to be and have and do more in the
areas that are important to you. These ideas often require changes and modifications in
the way you think and use your time, but the price is well worth it. You will find that by
reorganizing your life in little ways, you can create an existence that gives you the
highest quality and quantity of satisfaction overall. And this must be your guiding

The ancient Greeks had two famous sayings: “Man, know thyself” and “Moderation in
all things.” Taken together, those two ideas are a good starting point for achieving the
balance that you desire. With regard to knowing thyself, it is very important to give
some serious thought to what you really value in life. All trade-offs and choices are
based on your values, and all stress and unhappiness come from believing and valuing
one thing and, yet, finding yourself doing another. Only when your values and your
activities are congruent do you feel happy and at peace with yourself.

So knowing yourself means knowing what you really value, knowing what is really
important to you. The superior man or woman decides what is right before he or she
decides what is possible. The advanced human being organizes his or her life to assure
that everything that he or she is doing is consistent with his or her true values. It is
essential for you to organize your life around yourself, rather than to organize yourself
around the demands of your external world.

The second quote, “Moderation in all things,” is a wonderful and important dictate for
successful living. But, at the same time, you know that you can’t really be successful in
any area by being moderate in that area. Peter Drucker once wrote, “Wherever you find
something getting done, you find a monomaniac with a mission.” You know that single-
minded concentration on a goal or objective is absolutely necessary for achievement of
any kind in a competitive society.

So what’s the solution? Over the years, I have worked with tens of thousands of men
and women who have spent a lot of time and effort struggling to achieve balance in
their lives. I have found that there is a simple formula; it is simple in that it is easy to
explain, but you need tremendous self-discipline and persistence to implement it in
your life.

The formula revolves around a concept of time management, or what you might
want to call life management. Time management is really a form of personal
management in which you organize your 24 hours a day in such a way that they give
you the greatest possible return of happiness and contentment.
The key to time management, after you have determined your values and the goals
that are in harmony with those values, is to set both priorities and posteriorities. The
importance of setting priorities is obvious. You make a list of all the things that you can
possibly do and then select from that list the things that are most important to you
based on everything you know about yourself, about others and about your
responsibilities. The setting of posteriorities is often overlooked. It is when you carefully
decide which things you are going to stop doing so that you will have enough time to
start doing something else.

The greatest single shortage we experience in America today is that of time. We

suffer from what has been called “time poverty.” Men and women everywhere feel that
their biggest single challenge is that they simply do not have enough time to do all the
things that they have to do or want to do. People today feel pressured from all sides
and are under an inordinate amount of stress. They feel overworked, fatigued and
incapable of fulfilling all the responsibilities that they have taken on.

The starting point to alleviate this time poverty is to stop and think. Most people are
so busy rushing back and forth that they seldom take the time to think seriously about
who they are and why they are doing what they are doing. They engage in frantic
activity, instead of thoughtful analysis. They get so busy climbing the ladder of success
that they lose sight of the fact that the ladder may be leaning against the wrong

When my wife, Barbara, and I started our family, we were faced with a common
dilemma: how can we balance the demands of work and home with the finite amount
of time we are all given?

Here’s the answer I discovered: The key to success in a busy society is to devote
your time to only two areas during the period of time when your family needs you,
when your children are between the ages of birth to about 18 to 20 years. During this
period of time, you need to curtail virtually all of your outside activities. You need to
focus on two major areas⎯your family and your career⎯as I have done over the years.
You need to place your family’s needs above all else and then organize your work
schedule so that you can satisfy those needs on a regular basis. Then, when you work,
you must concentrate single-mindedly on doing an excellent job.

Most people are time wasters. They waste their own time, and they waste your time
as well. To be successful and happy, you must discipline yourself to work all the time
you work. The average employee works at about 50 percent of capacity. Fully 80
percent of people working today are underemployed in that their jobs do not really
demand their full capacities. Only 5 percent of workers surveyed recently felt that they
were working at the outside limits of their potentials.

But this is not for you. You must resolve to work all the time you work. You must
decide that from the time you start in the morning until the time you finish in the
evening, you will work 100 percent of the time. Even if no one is watching you, you
should be aware that everyone is watching you. Everybody knows everything. In
every company, everyone knows who is working and who is not. Your job must be to
work all the time you work. If people come by and want to chat, you simply smile at
them and say, “Could we talk about this later?” Tell them that you have to get back to
Have a written list, and work on your list every day. Write down everything as it
comes up, and add it to your list. Set priorities on your time, and be certain that you
are working on the things that are most important to your boss and to your company.
Refuse to get drawn into the time-wasting activities of the people around you. Work all
the time you work.

Remember that to be successful, you must become a monomaniac with a mission.

This is true today, and it has always been true in our competitive society. To be
successful at your job, you must work fast and efficiently and nonstop all the time you
are on the payroll. You must become an expert at time management. You must
become so efficient and effective that you get twice as much done as anyone else. In
this way, you will advance your career at the fastest rate possible, and you will also be
on top of your job most of the time, and it will be unnecessary for you to take work
home for the evenings and weekends.

Then, when you have finished your work, you can devote your full attention to your
family and to the other important people in your life. The Bible says, “A double-minded
man is unstable in all his ways.” One of the meanings of this is that if you are thinking
about your work while you are with your family, or if you are thinking about your family
when you are at work, you end up accomplishing far less in each area. However, if you
are on top of your work, when you come home you can devote yourself single-
mindedly⎯again, like a monomaniac⎯to your relationships and to enhancing the
quality of your interactions with the most important people in your life.

The key to a happy family life is communication. And it is not quality of time but
quantity of time that counts. Quality moments⎯those little moments that are precious
and important⎯come unbidden and, usually, unexpectedly. They arise during the
process of spending a large quantity of uninterrupted time with one or more people.
You cannot dictate those moments in advance. You cannot decide to have quality time.
You do not go to it. It comes to you.

There are a variety of ways to extract the greatest amount of quality and happiness
from your relationships with the members of your family. Perhaps the most important
is to spend unbroken time with your spouse on a daily basis. Of course, you should
spend time together talking after the children have gone to bed, but you should also
seek out and utilize small segments of time during the morning and early evening
during which you can communicate and interact. One of the most important things that
couples can do is spend the first 30 to 60 minutes after work debriefing each other and
discussing the day’s activities.

Your children also have a tremendous need to communicate with you. In fact, in my
research on how to raise super kids, I found that the one factor that was more
important than any other was the amount of one-on-one time that the parents spent
with the children. When parents don’t spend a lot of time with their children
individually, they send a message to their children that they are not very valuable or
important. Children then react by experiencing feelings of inferiority, lowered self-
esteem, and negative self-images, and this is expressed in poor grades and behavioral
problems. But when the parents take the time to sit down with their children and ask
questions and listen to what is going on in their minds, the children tend to feel a deep
sense of value and importance that is manifested in self-confidence, happiness, and
good relationships with others.
The key is learning to use your time better. You cannot get more hours out of each
day, but you can put more of yourself into each of those hours. Turn off the television
and spend time talking with the members of your family. Never read newspaper of
books when a member of your family wants to communicate with you. Put the reading
material aside. Concentrate single-mindedly on the most important people in your
world. Everything else can wait.

In regard to your work and family, continually ask yourself, “What is the most
valuable use of my time right now?” Consider if what you are doing today will matter a
week or a year from today. Sometimes, we become preoccupied with small things that
are not really important in the long run. But what is important in the long run is the
quality of our home life.

You don’t have to be a superman or superwoman to properly balance the demands of

your work and the needs of your family. You must, however, be more thoughtful, be a
better planner, use your time more effectively, and continually think of ways to
enhance the quality of your life in both areas. If you set this as a goal and resolve to
work toward it every day, you will gradually become far more efficient, far more
effective, and a far happier human being. And that’s the most important thing of all.

Becoming a Person of Integrity

By: Brian Tracy

Integrity is a value, like persistence, courage and industriousness. Even more

than that, it is the value that guarantees all the other values. You are a good person
to the degree to which you live your life consistent with the highest values that you
espouse. Integrity is the quality that locks in your values and causes you to live
consistent with them.

Integrity is the foundation of character. And character development is one of the

most important activities you can engage in. Working on your character means
disciplining yourself to do more and more of those things that a thoroughly honest
person would do, under all circumstances.

To be impeccably honest with others, you must first be impeccably honest with
yourself. You must be true to yourself. You must be true to the very best that is in
you, to the very best that you know. Only a person who is living consistent with his
or her highest values and virtues is really living a life of integrity. And when you
commit to living this kind of life, you will find yourself continually raising your own
standards, continually refining your definition of integrity and honesty.

You can tell how high your level of integrity is by simply looking at the things you
do in your day-to-day life. You can look at your reactions and responses to the
inevitable ups and downs of life. You can observe the behaviors you typically engage
in and you will then know the person you are.

The external manifestation of high integrity is high-quality work. A person who is

totally honest with himself or herself will be someone who does, or strives to do,
excellent work on every occasion. The totally honest person recognizes, sometimes
unconsciously, that everything he or she does is a statement about who he or she
really is as a person.
When you start a little earlier, work a little harder, stay a little later and
concentrate on every detail, you are practicing integrity in your work. And whether
you know it or not, your true level of integrity is apparent and obvious to everyone
around you.

Perhaps the most important rule you will ever learn is that your life only becomes
better when you become better.

All of life is lived from the inside out. At the very core of your personality lie your
values about yourself and life in general. Your values determine the kind of person
you really are. What you believe has defined your character and your personality. It
is what you stand for, and what you won’t stand for, that tells you and the world the
kind of person you have become.

Ask yourself this question: What are your five most important values in life? Your
answer will reveal an enormous amount about you. What would you pay for,
sacrifice for, suffer for and even die for? What would you stand up for, or refuse to
lie down for? What are the values that you hold most dear? Think these questions
through carefully and, when you get a chance, write down your answers.

Here’s another way of asking that question. What men and women, living or
dead, do you most admire? Once you pick three or four men or women, the next
question is: Why do you admire them? What values, qualities, or virtues do they
have that you respect and look up to? Can you articulate those qualities? What is a
quality possessed by human beings in general that you most respect? This is the
starting point for determining your values. The answers to these questions form the
foundation of your character and your personality.

Once you have determined your five major values, you should now organize
them in order of importance. What is your first, most important value? What is your
second value? What is your third value? And so on. Ranking your values is one of
the very best and fastest ways to define your character.

Remember, a higher order value will always take precedence over a lower order
value. Whenever you are forced to choose between acting on one value or another,
you always choose the value that is the highest on your own personal hierarchy.
Who you are, in your heart, is evidenced by what you do on a day-to-day basis,
especially when you are pushed into a position where you have to make a choice
between two values or alternatives.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Guard your integrity as a sacred thing.” In study after
study, the quality of integrity, or a person’s adherence to values, ranks as the number
one quality sought in every field. When it comes to determining whom they will do
business with, customers rank the honesty of a salesperson as the most important single
quality. Even if a they feel that a salesperson’s product, quality and price is superior,
customers will not buy from that salesperson if they feel that he or she is lacking in
honesty and character.

Likewise, integrity is the number one quality of leadership. Integrity in

leadership is expressed in terms of constancy and consistency. It is manifested in an
absolute devotion to keeping one’s word. The glue that holds all relationships
together—including the relationship between the leader and the led—is trust, and
trust is based on integrity.
Integrity is so important that functioning in our society would be impossible
without it. We could not make even a simple purchase without a high level of
confidence that the price was honest and that the change was correct. The most
successful individuals and companies in America are those with reputations of high
integrity among everyone they deal with. This level of integrity builds the confidence
that others have in them and enables them to do more business than their
competitors whose ethics may be a little shaky.

Earl Nightingale once wrote, “If honesty did not exist, it would have to be
invented, as it is the surest way of getting rich.” A study at Harvard University
concluded that the most valuable asset that a company has is how it is known to its
customers⎯its reputation.

By the same token, your greatest personal asset is the way that you are known
to your customers. It is your personal reputation for keeping your word and fulfilling
your commitments. Your integrity precedes you and affects all of your interactions
with other people.

There are several things you can do to move you more rapidly toward becoming
the kind of person that you know you are capable of becoming. The first, as I
mentioned, is to decide upon your five most important values in life. Organize them
in order of priority. Then write a brief paragraph defining what each of those values
means to you. A value combined with a definition becomes an organizing
principle⎯a statement that you can use to help you make better decisions. It is a
measure and standard which enables you to know how closely you are adhering to
your innermost beliefs and convictions.

The second step to developing integrity and character in yourself is to study men and
women of great character. Study the lives and stories of people like George Washington,
Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, Susan B. Anthony and
Margaret Thatcher. Study the people whose strength of character enabled them to
change their world. As you read, think about how they would behave if they were facing
the difficulties that you face.

Napoleon Hill, in his book, The Master Key to Riches, tells about how he created an
imaginary board of personal advisors made up of great figures of history. He chose
people like Napoleon, Lincoln, Jesus, and Alexander the Great. Whenever he had to
make a decision, he would relax deeply and then imagine that the members of his
advisory council were sitting at a large table in front of him. He would then ask them
what he should do to deal effectively with a particular situation. In time, they would
begin to give him answers, observations, and insights that helped him to see more
clearly and act more effectively.

You can do the same thing. Select someone that you very much admire for their
qualities of courage, tenacity, honesty, or wisdom. Ask yourself, “What would Jesus do in
my situation?” or, “What would Lincoln do if he were here at this time?” You will find
yourself with guidance that enables you to be the very best person that you can possible

The third and most important step in building your integrity has to do with
formulating your approach based on the psychology of human behavior. We know that if
you feel a particular way, you will act in a manner consistent with that feeling. For
example, if you feel happy, you will act happy. If you feel angry, you will act angry. If
you feel courageous, you will act courageously.

But we also know that you don’t always start off feeling the way you want to.
However, because of the Law of Reversibility, if you act as if you had a particular feeling,
the action will generate the feeling consistent with it. You can, in effect, act your way
into feeling. You can “fake it until you make it.”

You can become a superior human being by consciously acting exactly as the
kind of person that you would most like to become. If you behave like an individual
of integrity, courage, resolution, persistence and character, you will soon create
within yourself the mental structure and habits of such a person. Your actions will
become your reality. You will create a personality that is consistent with your
highest aspirations.

The more you walk, talk, and behave consistent with your highest values, the
more you will like yourself and the better you will feel about yourself. Your self-
image will improve and your level of self-acceptance will go up. You will feel
stronger, bolder, and more capable of facing any challenge.

There are three primary areas of your life where acting with integrity is crucial.
These are the three areas of greatest temptation for forsaking your integrity, as well
as the areas of greatest opportunity for building your integrity. When you listen to
your inner voice and do what you know to be the right thing in each of these areas,
you will have a sense of peace and satisfaction that will lead you on to success and
high achievement.

The first area of integrity has to do with your relationships with your family and
your friends, the people close to you. Being true to yourself means living in truth
with each person in your life. It means refusing to say or do something that you
don’t believe is right. Living in truth with other people means that you refuse to stay
in any situation where you are unhappy with the behavior of another person. You
refuse to tolerate it. You refuse to compromise.

Psychologists have determined that most stress and negativity comes from
attempting to live in a way that is not congruent with your highest values. It is when
your life is out of alignment⎯when you are doing and saying one thing on the
outside, but really feeling and believing something different on the inside⎯that you
feel most unhappy. When you decide to become an individual of character and
integrity, your first action will be to neutralize or remove all difficult relationships
from your life.

This doesn’t mean that you have to go and hit somebody over the head with a
stick. It simply means that you honestly confront another person and tell them that
you are not happy. Tell them that you would like to reorganize this relationship so
that you feel more content and satisfied. If the other person is not willing to make
adjustments so that you can be happy, it should be clear to you that you don’t want
to be in this relationship much longer anyway.

The second area of integrity has to do with your attitude and behavior toward
money. Casualness toward money brings casualties in your financial life. You must
be fastidious about your treatment of money, especially other people’s money. You
must guard your credit rating the same way you would guard your honor. You must
pay your bills punctually, or even early. You must keep your promises with regard to
your financial commitments.

The third area of integrity has to do with your commitments to others, especially
in your business, your work and your sales activities. Always keep your word. Be a
man or a woman of honor. If you say that you will do something, do it. If you make
a promise, keep it. If you make a commitment, fulfill it. Be known as the kind of
person that can be trusted absolutely, no matter what the circumstances.

Your integrity is manifested in your willingness to adhere to the values you hold
most dear. It’s easy to make promises and hard to keep them, but if you do, every
single act of integrity will make your character a little stronger. And as you improve
the quality and strength of your character, every other part of your life will improve
as well.

Cultivating Your Self-Esteem

By: Brian Tracy

Your self-esteem is probably the most important part of your personality. It

precedes and predicts your performance in almost everything you do. It is the
energy source or the reactor core of your personality, and how much self-esteem
you have determines your levels of vitality, enthusiasm and personal magnetism.
People with high self-esteem are more positive, more likable and more effective in
every part of their lives.

Everything that you do or say or think will affect your self-esteem. Your job,
therefore, is to keep your self-esteem high and positive on a continuing basis.
Probably the best definition of self-esteem is this: the level to which you respect
and value yourself as an important, worthwhile person. People with high self-esteem
feel terrific about themselves and their lives. When you feel really good about
yourself, you tend to be the very best person you can possibly be.

Your level of self-esteem is really your level of “mental fitness.” It’s a measure of
how healthy, hardy, and resilient you are in dealing with the inevitable ups and
downs of daily life. Your self-esteem determines how much peace of mind and inner
contentment you experience. It is also closely linked to your health and levels of
energy. People with high self-esteem are seldom sick and seem to have an
inexhaustible flow of energy and enthusiasm that progressively moves them toward
their goals.

How much you like and respect yourself also determines the quality of your
relationships with people. The more you like and enjoy yourself, the more you will
like and enjoy others, and the more they will like you. In fact, when your self-esteem
is hurt in any way, the very first thing that is affected is the way you get along with

To perform at your best and to feel terrific about yourself, you should be in a
perpetual state of self-esteem building and maintenance. Just as you take
responsibility for your level of physical fitness, you need to take complete
responsibility for the content and quality of your mind.
I have developed a simple formula that contains all the critical elements of self-
esteem building, and you can use it on a regular basis to assure maximum

This formula is comprised of six basic elements. They are: goals, standards,
success experiences, comparison with others, recognition, and rewards. Let’s take
them one at a time.

How much you like and respect yourself is directly affected by your goals. The
very act of setting big, challenging goals for yourself and making written plans of
action to achieve them actually raises your self-esteem, which causes you to feel
much better about yourself.

Self-esteem is a condition you experience when you are moving step-by-step

toward the accomplishment of something that is important to you. For that reason,
it’s really important to have clear goals for each part of your life and to continually
work toward achieving those goals. Each progressive step causes your self-esteem to
go up and makes you feel more positive and effective in everything else you do.

The second element in self-esteem building is having clear standards and values
to which you are committed. Men and women with high self-esteem are very clear
about what they believe in. The higher your values and ideals are, and the more
committed you are to living your life consistent with those values and ideals, the
more you will like and respect yourself, and the higher your self-esteem will be.

Lasting self-esteem comes only when your goals and your values are congruent—
that is, when they fit into each other like a hand into a glove. Much of the stress that
people experience comes from believing one thing and trying to do another. But
when your goals and values are in harmony with each other, you feel a wonderful
surge of energy and well-being, and that’s when you start to make real progress.

Many people tell me that they are unhappy with their job because they can’t
seem to achieve success no matter how hard they try. I always ask them if they are
doing what they really care about and believe in. In many cases, people realize that
they are not happy with their job because it is the wrong kind of work for them.
Once they change jobs and start doing something that they really enjoy, something
that is more consistent with their innermost convictions, they start to make real
progress and get a lot of satisfaction out of their work.

The third element in self-esteem building involves having success experiences.

Once you have set your goals and standards, it is important that you make them
measurable so that you can keep score of your small and large successes along the
way. The very act of setting up a goal, breaking it down into smaller parts, and then
completing those parts makes you feel like a winner and causes your self-esteem to
go up. But remember that you can’t hit a target you can’t see. You can’t feel like a
winner unless you clearly lay out the standards by which you are going to measure
your success and then achieve those standards.

Let’s say that you set a goal to sell a certain amount or earn a certain amount of
income in a given year. If you break that down into monthly and weekly goals, and
then you achieve the first of those goals, you will feel great about yourself. Each
time you reach another milestone, your self-esteem and ability to perform will
increase, and you will feel encouraged and enthusiastic about the next challenge.
The fourth element of self-esteem is comparison with others. Leon Festinger of
Harvard University concluded that in determining how well we are doing, we do not
compare ourselves with abstract standards, but, rather, we compare ourselves with
people we know. To feel like a winner, you must know for sure that you are doing as
well as or better than someone else. The more you know about how well the others
in your field are doing, and the more favorably you compare with them, the more
you will feel like a winner, and the higher your self-esteem will be.

Successful people continually compare themselves with other successful people.

They think about them and read about them and study their performances, and then
they work to surpass them one step at a time. Eventually, successful people reach
the point where they compete only with themselves and with their past
accomplishments. But this comes after they have moved to the top and left many of
their competitors behind.

The next element for self-esteem is recognition of your accomplishments by

people whom you respect. To feel really great about yourself, you need the
recognition of people you look up to and admire, such as your boss, your coworkers,
your spouse and people in your social circle. Whenever you are recognized and
praised for any accomplishment by someone whose opinion you hold in high regard,
your self-esteem goes up, along with your eagerness and enthusiasm to do even
better on the job.

The final element of self-esteem involves rewards that are consistent with your
accomplishments. You may work in a field where you receive financial bonuses,
status symbols—larger offices, bigger cars—or even plaques and trophies for
superior achievement. All of those symbols can have an incredible impact on raising
your self-esteem and causing you to feel terrific about yourself.

If, however, your existing situation does not offer the tangible or intangible
rewards that are necessary for you to build and maintain your self-esteem, you must
create rewards for yourself. One of the smartest things you can do is to design a
system for giving yourself rewards for both small and large accomplishments as you
move progressively toward your goals. For example, people who do telephone
prospecting will often treat themselves to a cup of coffee after every 10 calls. After
25 calls, they will reward themselves with a walk around the building or the block.
After 50 calls, they will go out to lunch. Each of those rewards serves as an
incentive that motivates them to repeat the performance. The end result is success,
enthusiasm, and high self-esteem.

Whether or not your current environment provides the six elements of self-
esteem building—goals, standards, success experiences, comparison with others,
recognition, and rewards—you need to establish your own structure and take full
responsibility for building yourself up on a regular basis.

Of course, it is possible to like yourself in the abstract, to think of yourself as a

valuable and worthwhile person, but this tends to be a very shaky form of self-
esteem that is easily knocked down by a negative experience or a temporary
disappointment. The only real way for you to absolutely know that you are a valuable
and worthwhile person is for you to make the effort, overcome the obstacles and pay
the price to bring these elements into your life. When you have that foundation, you
will experience a form of mental fitness and unshakable optimism that will sustain
you through failure and propel you to success.
Empowering Others
By: Brian Tracy

Once you know how to empower people, how to motivate and inspire them, they
will want to work with you to help you achieve your goals in everything you do. Your
ability to enlist the knowledge, energy and resources of others enables you to become a
multiplication sign, to leverage yourself so that you accomplish far more than the
average person and in a far shorter period of time.

There are three types of people that you want to and need to empower on a regular
basis. They are, first of all, the people closest to you: your family, your friends, your
spouse and your children. Second are your work relationships: your staff, your
coworkers, your peers, your colleagues and even your boss. Third are all the other
people that you interact with in your day-to-day life: your customers, your suppliers,
your banker, the people with whom you deal in stores, restaurants, airplanes, hotels
and everywhere else. In each case, your ability to get people to help you is what will
make you a more powerful and effective person.

Empower means “putting power into,” and it can also mean “bringing energy and
enthusiasm out of.” So the first step in empowering people is to refrain from doing
anything that disempowers them or reduces their energy and enthusiasm for what they
are doing.

With regard to the first group, those people closest to you, there are several simple
things that you can do every single day to empower them and make them feel good
about themselves.

The deepest need that each person has is for self-esteem, a sense of being
important, valuable, and worthwhile. Everything that you do in your interactions with
others affects their self-esteem in some way. You already have an excellent frame of
reference to determine the things that you can do to boost the self-esteem and
therefore the sense of personal power of those around you. Give them what you’d like
for yourself.

Perhaps the simplest way to make another person feel good about himself or
herself is your continuous expressions of appreciation for everything that person does
for you, large or small. Say “thank you” on every occasion. Thank your spouse for
everything that he or she does for you. Thank your children for their cooperation and
support in everything that they do around the house. Thank your friends for the
smallest of kindnesses. The more you thank other people for doing things for you, the
more things those other people will want to do.

Every time you thank another person, you cause that person to like themselves
better. You raise their self-esteem and improve their self-image. You cause them to
feel more important. You make them feel that what they did was valuable and
worthwhile. You empower them.

And the wonderful thing about thanking other people is that, every time you say the
words “thank you,” you like yourself better as well. You feel better inside. You feel
happier and more content with yourself and life. You feel more fully integrated and
positive about what you are doing. When you develop an attitude of gratitude that
flows forth from you in all of your interactions with others, you will be amazed at how
popular you will become and how eager others will be to help you in whatever you are

The second way to make people feel important, to raise their self-esteem and give
them a sense of power and energy, is by the generous use of praise and approval.
Psychological tests show that, when children are praised by the people that they look
up to, their energy levels rise, their heart rates and respiratory rates increase and they
feel happier about themselves overall.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson in Ken Blanchard’s book The One Minute Manager
is his recommendation to be giving “one-minute praisings” at every opportunity. If you
go around your home and through your social relationships praising and giving genuine
and honest approval to people for their accomplishments, large and small, you will be
amazed at how much more people like you and how much more willing they are to help
you achieve your goals.

There is a psychological law of reciprocity that says, “If you make me feel good
about myself, I will find a way to make you feel good about yourself.” In other words,
people will always look for ways to reciprocate your kindnesses toward them. When
you look for every opportunity to do and say things that make other people feel good
about themselves, you will be astonished at not only how good you feel, but at the
wonderful things that begin to happen all around you.

The third way to empower others, to build their self-esteem and make them feel
important is simply to pay close attention to them when they talk. The great majority
of people are so busy trying to be heard that they become impatient when others are
talking. But this is not for you. Remember, the most important single activity that
takes place over time is listening intently to the other person when he or she is talking
and expressing himself or herself.

Again, the three general rules for empowering the people around you, which apply
to everyone you meet, are appreciation, approval, and attention. Voice your thanks
and gratitude to others on every occasion. Praise them for every accomplishment. And
pay close attention to them when they talk and want to interact with you. These three
behaviors alone will make you a master of human interaction and will greatly empower
the people around you.

It’s certainly possible for you to get the cooperation of others by threatening or
brow-beating them, but you will only get minimal cooperation, minimal output, and
minimal assistance. To move to the top of your field, you must appeal to people’s inner
motivations and drives, their deepest emotions.

What motivates people in the world of work? The biggest motivator is clarity.
People need to know exactly what it is that they are supposed to do. They need to
know why they are supposed to do it and how it fits into the big picture. They need to
know how it will be measured, and when it is due. They need to know what standard of
quality is expected and how their efforts affect the work of others. The greater the
clarity that a person has about his or her assignment and the order of priority in which
it is to be done, the happier and more empowered he or she feels right from the start.

On the other hand, the biggest demotivator in the world of work is not knowing
what is expected. It is being in the dark about what is supposed to be done and in
what order of priority. People are especially demotivated when they don’t know why
they are doing a task or how it fits into the overall goals of the company or department.

The more time you spend talking to your people and inviting their feedback and
comments on the work, the more empowered they will be to do the work well. The
word we are talking about in empowerment in work is the word “ownership.” Your job
is to transfer the ownership into the heart and mind of the employee. When he or she
feels personal ownership for a job and the responsibility for doing it well, he or she will
be completely empowered. This is one of the most important aspects of the art of

Another major motivator at work is consideration. Employees report that the best
managers they ever had were people who cared about them as people and as friends.
These managers took the time to ask them questions about their lives, and to listen
patiently while they talked about the dilemmas and problems and situations in their
families. The more that the employees felt that the boss liked them and respected
them, the more empowered and motivated they felt.

The flip side of this motivator is the demotivating feeling that the boss doesn’t care.
This is almost invariably expressed in a lack of recognition, a lack of approval, a lack of
appreciation and a general failure to pay attention to the employee over time.

Remember, the amount of time that you spend talking to and listening to an
employee is a signal to that employee that he or she is important to you and to the
company. This is why the very best bosses spend a lot of time walking around and
chatting with their employees. They sit with them for lunch and coffee. They invite
their comments and encourage open discussion and disagreements about work. They
create an environment where people feel that the work belongs to them as well as to
the company. In that environment, employees feel good about themselves and more
fully committed to doing the job and doing it well.

To empower and motivate the third group of people, the people around you, your
customers, your suppliers, your bankers and so on, you simply need to practice what
we’ve already talked about. The most important of all is that you be a genuine,
positive and cheerful person. You develop a positive mental attitude. You be the kind
of person from whom, “never is heard a discouraging word.” You are easygoing, genial,
friendly, patient, tolerant and open minded. You make people feel comfortable being
around you.

Remember, everyone is primarily emotional. Everything that people do, or refrain

from doing, is triggered by their deeper emotions. Your job is to connect with their
higher and more positive emotions so they feel so good about you they want to help
you and please you in some way.

For example, whenever you go into a crowded restaurant, or get on a busy plane,
or go up to a busy hotel desk, instead of becoming impatient with the slow rate of
service, you should put yourself in the other person’s place, practice the Golden Rule,
and ask them how they are doing.

Whenever I go into a busy restaurant, I always ask the waiter for his or her name.
Then I address them by name while observing sympathetically, “You seem to be
working hard today.”
From that moment on, the waiter always gives me special attention. Why?
Because I took the time to empathize with his or situation rather than looking for
sympathy for mine.

Try this approach with all the people at your workplace. Observe their situation and
empathize with how hard they are working, how many difficulties they have, how
overloaded they are, and so on. It is absolutely amazing how much better people feel
about you when you take a special interest in them, rather than just thinking about

In life, you always have a choice. You can either do everything yourself or you can
get others to help you do some of the work. Our entire economic structure is built on
the principle of specialization. Specialization means that some people become very
good at doing certain tasks while other people become very good at doing other tasks.

For you to achieve your full potential, you must contribute the greatest amount of
value possible. You must concentrate all your energies on doing certain specialized
tasks in an excellent fashion so that you can be paid the amount you want to earn and
you can move ahead at the rate you want to move ahead. But in order for you to
specialize and do what you are best at, and more of it, you must delegate, relegate and
outsource virtually everything else.

Some non-managers feel that the subject of delegation does not apply to them.
But even when you ask your child to bring you the newspaper, you are delegating a
task. When you go out to lunch rather than making it yourself, you are delegating.
When you go into a full service gas station rather than filling your own tank, again, you
are delegating. You are in a process of continuous delegation from the time you get up
in the morning until the time you go to sleep at night. The only question is how you
are at it.

Your ability to delegate effectively, which requires that you inspire and empower others
to help you willingly, will determine how fast you move ahead. It will determine how
much you earn in your job. It will determine the quality and quantity of your
productivity. It will determine your ultimate financial success in life. And the key to all
of this is your ability to empower others.

Everyone’s A Salesperson
By: Brian Tracy

Sometimes I ask my seminar attendees, “How many people here are in sales?” It’s
interesting to watch how people respond to that question. There are always a few
people who will raise a hand at first, and then another hand goes up, and then
another, and soon perhaps half the people in the room have a hand up, even though
they may be in fields such as management, administration, finance and accounting.

I then smile and ask again, “Now, how many people here are really in sales?” At this
point, virtually every person in the room has raised a hand. We all smile at the
realization that each of us is in the business of selling every single day.

From the time you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night, you
are negotiating, communicating, persuading, and influencing — trying to get people
to cooperate with you to accomplish the things that you want them to accomplish. So
the pivotal question with regard to selling is not if you are doing it, but if you are
good at it.

All top executives are excellent salespeople. All effective parents are wonderful
salespeople. All effective employees use sales techniques to get their coworkers and
bosses to go along with them and to cooperate with them in getting the job done.
Everyone who is effective in virtually any are of life that involves other people is an
excellent salesperson of some kind.

Unfortunately, over the years, a stigma has grown up around the selling profession.
Many people feel that selling is a low-level type of activity and they don’t like to be
associated with it — even people who are in sales! Virtually no colleges or
universities have a “Department of Selling,” even though almost 15 million
Americans make their living by selling something to someone. It is the largest single,
identifiable occupational group in the United States.

Salespeople are the movers and shakers in every business and industry. They are
the key people who create the demand for all the products and services that keep
everyone employed at every other occupation.

The basis for all successful sales efforts is a discipline called gap analysis. Gap
analysis is clearly defining what your idea, product, or service can do for a person
and then deciding how to demonstrate that in a compelling way.

People tend to buy based on how they anticipate feeling as a result of owning and
enjoying a particular product or service. In fact, they make their decision based on
whether or not that feeling is more valuable to them than the money they will have
to part with.

In selling or persuading anyone to do anything, there is an “ABC theory of

motivation” that is very powerful. In it, “A” represents a state of “felt dissatisfaction.”
This means that the individual is not satisfied with his or her current situation or

The “C” represents a state of greater satisfaction. If the individual can get to this
state, the felt dissatisfaction in his or her current situation will be relieved.

The “B” in this ABC theory is the product, service, idea, action, or activity that you
are trying to persuade the person to acquire or to engage in.

So, to repeat, the “A” is the existing state of dissatisfaction. The “C” is the future
anticipated state of greater satisfaction or relieved dissatisfaction. The “B” is what
you are offering as a means to that relief.

According to this theory, getting people to do something that they would not have
done in the absence of your influence is possible only when a gap exists between
their current situation and the ideal situation that they would like to enjoy.

The very best persuaders, communicators, and salespeople are those who
concentrate their attention on identifying the exact gap that exists and determining
how big it is. They then focus on widening that gap in every possible way, until the
prospect begins to feel more and more dissatisfied with his or her current situation
and more and more desirous of enjoying the preferable situation that is achievable
by the use of the product, service, or idea.

Let me give you an example. I was quite happy with my car until recently. It was a
nice car, it was paid off, and it was running fine. Then I took it in to the dealership
for a regular checkup and service. The service manager did an excellent job of
analysis and came back to me with the sad fact that the car required not only new
tires all around, but also a complete new set of brakes, a wheel alignment, and a lot
of other things. The total cost would be about $3,000.

You can imagine my reaction. I was shocked. I had no idea that the car required that
much service. Well, I thought, what the heck, at least it’s cheaper than buying a new
car. Then a salesman at the dealership pointed out to me that the car would drop
another $2,000 in value at the turn of the model year, which was coming up in about
60 days. He told me that if I kept the car, and repaired it, I would lose $5,000 off the
total value of the car, which I could never recover.

Suddenly, I went from complacency about my car to dissatisfaction, and then to

great dissatisfaction and an intense desire to improve my condition in some way. The
salesman then went on to explain that he could take my car as a down payment on a
brand new luxury automobile, with no cash out of my pocket, and he could spread
the payments over three, four, or five years so that the cost to me would be very
reasonable. At that, all my resistance vanished. I started out satisfied with my car,
then became so dissatisfied with it that I bought a brand new, expensive luxury car
— and, surprisingly enough, I drove away happy.

Here are some of the key points in gap analysis that my salesman applied. You can
use these same techniques to persuade people to move from where they are to
where you want them to be.

Remember that people buy solutions to their problems, not products or services. In
fact, as a salesperson, you need to be more of a problem finder than a vendor. The
more you focus on the problem, or the gap that exists between the real and the ideal
in the customer situation, the faster you will find a place where your product or
service can plug the gap.

The bigger the problem that the customer or prospect has, the bigger the potential
sale. One of the most powerful questions you can ask a person is, “How much is that
problem costing you?” Help him to identify not only the obvious, direct costs, but
also the not-so-obvious, indirect costs.

Ask the prospect, “What are the implications? What is the meaning of that problem
to you? What other things does it affect in your work or personal life?”

The most astute salespeople are those who are capable of finding a small gap and
then expanding it into a wide gap. They are capable of discovering a small problem
or dissatisfaction in the mind of the prospect and then, by questioning and
commenting, increase it until the prospect develops an intense desire for the solution
they are offering.

If you are selling to companies, you have to ask what the decision makers in the
organization want to accomplish. What is the gap between where they are and where
they want to be? How is the decision maker rewarded, and for what? What does the
decision maker have to do to earn the respect, esteem, and support of this or her
superiors and coworkers?

One of the deepest subconscious needs of all people is the need for self-esteem, for
feeling valuable, important, and worthwhile. If you can ascertain what people need
to do to increase their self-esteem and their perceived value in their organization,
and then show them that by using your product or service, they can earn the
approval and appreciation of the people around them and above them, they will
often be very motivated to buy what you are selling.

When you meet prospects for the first time, you will find that they are usually
unaware that a gap exists between where they are and where they could be. They
will often say things like, “I’m not interested,” or “I can’t afford it,” or “We’re quite
happy with our current situation.” These are normal and natural responses. No one
likes to change. Your job is to describe a state of even greater satisfaction that they
could enjoy if they did something different. Virtually all advertising is aimed at
showing people how much better off they could be with a product or service that
they have not yet acquired.

Gap analysis is based on asking good questions — questions focused on discovering

problems that might be troubling the prospect. There is a direct correlation between
the use of good questioning techniques and sales success. The more and better
questions you ask aimed at finding a problem or uncovering a dissatisfaction, the
more interest the prospect will have and the more sales you will make. The person
who asks questions has control.

Good salespeople always plan the wording of their questions, rewriting them and
practicing them before they get face-to-face with a prospect. Poor salespeople, on
the other hand, make up their questions as they go along.

Here are some great questions for gap analysis.

The first question is an application of the “magic-want technique.” Imagine that you
have a magic wand that you can wave over the prospect’s situation and you ask this
question: “Mr. [or Ms.] Prospect, if this situation were absolutely perfect in every
respect, what would it look like? Then remain completely silent. When the prospect
begins to describe that perfect situation, you’ll uncover the gaps you can fill to create
his or her ideal future. When you explain how your product or service can bridge
those gaps, you will greatly enhance your chances of making a sale.

A great set of questions begins with the words What if? For example, you can ask,
“What if we could achieve this particular result for you; what effect would that have
on your current operations?”

Good questions that grab the prospect’s attention will start him or her visualizing and
imagining an ideal future state, exactly the state that your product or service is
meant to achieve.

A final key to effective selling through gap analysis is to share some of the
experiences of people who have previously purchased your product or service. Use
third-party references, testimonials, and anecdotes. Say something like, “I have a
very good customer who had a similar situation to yours not long ago.” Then go on
to explain how your customer was able to rectify that situation in a cost-effective
way by accepting your recommendation.

To be truly persuasive in the selling process, use gap analysis. Instead of trying to
overwhelm your prospects with reasons and rationales for doing what you want them
to do, ask questions aimed at uncovering their current problems, needs, and
dissatisfactions. Listen carefully to the answers they give you, and ask additional
questions to help them expand on their situation. Take a few moments to feed their
answers back to them, to show that you were really listening and that you really
understand their needs. Then position yourself to influence and persuade your
prospects by showing them how your product or service just happens to be the ideal
way to solve their problem, satisfy their need, or achieve their goal.

When you take this low-pressure approach to getting people to do what you want
them to do, they will buy from you with pleasure, and they will recommend you to
their friends. They will feel they are being helped to improve their lives rather than
being pressured into buying something that they may not want or need.

The wonderful thing about selling is that it is a learned skill. No matter what level of
selling ability you possess today, by continued practice, you can become better and
more persuasive. And the more effective you are at selling, the more successful you
will be in every area of your life.

Gaining Visibility
By: Brian Tracy

Have you noticed that some workers receive more promotions and greater pay than
do their colleagues do, even though they are apparently not as competent or as
capable as their colleagues are? This doesn’t seem fair. Why should some people get
ahead when others who seem to be working far harder, and even longer hours, get
passed over for promotion and the additional rewards that go with it?

The fact is that to be a great success, it is important not only to be good at what you
do, but also to be perceived as being good at what you do. Human beings are creatures
of perception. It is not what they see but what they think they see that determines how
they think and act.

If your coworker is perceived as being more promotable than you are, for whatever
reasons, then it is very likely that your coworker will get additional responsibilities and
more money, even though you know that you could do a better job, if given the

Fortunately, however, there are several things that you can do to increase your
visibility and accelerate the speed at which you move ahead in your career.

The starting point to attain high visibility is to develop competence. Determine what
parts of your job are most important to your boss and to your company, and then make
the decision to become very good in those areas. You must be perceived as being very
competent at what you do; your future depends on it. That perception alone will bring
you to the attention of more people faster than you can imagine. The perception of
excellent performance will open up opportunities for greater responsibilities, higher pay
and better positions. Becoming good at what you do should be the foundation of your
strategy for gaining higher visibility and rapid advancement in your career.

Employers everywhere are looking for men and women of action, people who will get
in there and get the job done right as soon as possible. When you develop a reputation
for competence and capability, you quickly become visible to all the key people in your
working environment.

Excellence at what you do is essential, but it’s not enough. There are additional
elements that go into the perception that others have of you. And one of the most
important elements is your overall image, from head to toe. How you appear to others
makes a real difference.

A recent survey of personnel executives found that the decision to hire or not to hire
is made in the first 30 seconds. Many people believe that the decision to accept or
reject a job candidate is actually made in the first four seconds. Many capable men and
women are disqualified from job opportunities because they simply do not look the

There are many elements of your life over which you have no control and which you
cannot choose. But your external dress and appearance are totally a matter of personal
preference. Through their choice of clothes, their grooming and their overall
appearance, individuals deliberately make a statement about the kind of people they
are. The way you look on the outside is a representation of the way you see yourself on
the inside. If you have a positive, professional self-image, you will take pains to make
your external appearance consistent with it.

It’s a good idea to dress the way the senior people in your company dress. Dress for
the position two jobs above your own. Since people judge you largely by the way you
look on the outside, be sure to look thoroughly professional. Consequently, the
perception of the people who can help you in your career will be positive. They will
open doors for you in ways that you cannot now imagine.

Another powerful way to increase your visibility is to join one or two professional
associations connected with your business or field. Begin by attending meetings as a
guest to carefully assess whether or not a professional association can be of value to
you. Determine if the members are the kind of people you would like to know and are
well-established in their careers. Then, if you have decided that becoming known to the
key people in this association can advance your career, take out a membership and get

Most people who join any club or association do little more than attend the regular
meetings. For some reason, they are too busy to assist with the various things that
need to get done. This is not for you. Your job is to pick a key committee and volunteer
for service. Find out which committee seems to be the most active and the most
influential in that organization, and then step up to the plate. Volunteer your time,
expertise and energy, and get busy. Attend every meeting. Take careful notes. Ask for
assignments, and complete them on time and in an excellent fashion.

In each case, you have an opportunity to perform for other key people in your
profession in a non-threatening environment. You give them a chance to see what you
can do and what kind of a person you are. You expand your range of valuable contacts
in one of the most effective ways possible in America today. The people you get to
know on these committees can eventually be extremely helpful to you in your work and
in your career.

Also, join a well-known charitable organization, such as the United Way, and become
active by donating your services to its annual fund-raising programs. You may not be
wealthy now, but you do have time, and your willingness to give of yourself will soon be
noticed by people who are higher up. Many men and women with limited contacts and
limited resources have risen to positions of great prominence as the result of getting to
know the key community leaders who participate in charitable organizations and
professional associations.

Some years ago, I joined a statewide chamber of commerce and volunteered to work
on its Economic Education Committee. As usual, very few of the members contributed
any time or effort to the committee, so there was always lots of work for those few
people who were willing to put in the effort. Within one year, I was speaking at the
annual convention for this association. The audience was composed of some of the
most influential business executives in the entire state. In the following year, I was
invited to give a key briefing to the governor and his aides at the state capitol. I
became so well-known in the business community that within six months, I was offered
a position to run a new company at triple my former salary. It all came from becoming
active in the chamber of commerce and becoming known to the other members.

About three years later, I volunteered to work with the United Way and had a very
similar experience. In fact, my whole business life was changed because of my
involvement in helping that charitable organization in its annual fund-raising drive.

It’s amazing how far and how fast you will go when you begin to give your time and
energy to others on a volunteer basis. It’s one of the fastest ways up the ladder of
success in America.

There are many other things that you can do to increase your visibility⎯things that
don’t occur to most people. For example, a study of 105 chief executive officers
concluded that there were two qualities that would put a person onto the fast track in
his or her career. The first quality was the ability to set priorities, to separate the
relevant from the irrelevant when facing the many tasks of the day. The second quality
was a sense of urgency, the ability to get the job done fast.

Managers place very high value on a person who can set priorities and move quickly
to get the job finished. Dependability in job completion is one of the most valued traits
in the American work force. When your employer can hand you a job and then walk
away and never worry about it again, you have moved yourself onto the fast track, and
your subsequent promotion and pay are virtually guaranteed.

Another way to increase your visibility is to continually upgrade your work-related

skills, and to make sure that your superiors know about it. Look for additional courses
you can take to improve at your job, and discuss them with your boss. Ask him or her
to pay for the courses, but make it clear that you’re going to take them anyway.
A young woman who worked for me was able to double her salary in less than six
months by aggressively learning the computer, bookkeeping and accounting skills she
needed as our company grew. And she was worth every penny.

Ask your boss for book and audio program recommendations. Then follow up by
reading and listening to them and asking for further recommendations. Bosses are very
impressed with people who are constantly striving to learn more in order to increase
their value to their companies. Doing this regularly can really accelerate your career.
Finally, you’ll be more visible if you develop a Positive Mental Attitude. People like to
be around and to promote people they like. A consistent, persistent attitude of
cheerfulness and optimism is quickly noticed by everybody. When you make an effort
to cultivate an attitude of friendliness toward people, they, in return, will go to
extraordinary efforts to open doors for you.

In summary, here are the five keys to increasing your visibility so that you can be
more successful, faster in your career:

1. Become excellent at the important things that you have been hired to do. Excellence in
your chosen occupation is the primary stepping-stone to higher positions and better

2. Look, act and dress the part. Become knowledgeable about styles, colors and
fabrics. Dress the way senior people in your company dress. Never take anything for
granted. Remember that in the area of image, “casualness brings casualties.”

3. Develop your contacts, both inside and outside the company. Always be looking for
ways to give of your time and effort, as an investment, so that others will be willing to
give of their time and effort to help you sometime in the future.

The most successful men and women in any community are those who are known by
the greatest number of other successful people. Begin with your professional
association or club, and join a local charity that you care about and that also has a
prestigious board of directors.

4. Take additional courses to upgrade your skills, and make sure that everyone knows
about it. Ask your boss for book and audio program recommendations. Then read and
listen, and go back to your boss with your comments on what you’ve learned and to
ask for further recommendations.
When your boss feels that you are eager to learn and grow, often he’ll become a
mentor to you and will help you up the ladder of success. This process of being
mentored, or guided, has been instrumental to the careers of many successful
executives in America.

5. Be positive, cheerful and helpful. Be the kind of person other people want to see get
ahead. Treat other people with friendliness and patience, and always have a good word
to say to the people you work with.

In the final analysis, taking the time to become an excellent human being will do more
to raise your visibility and improve your chances for promotion than will any other
single thing that you can do. And you can do it if you really want to.

Generating Energy
By: Brian Tracy

You may have a thousand different goals over the course of your lifetime, but they
all will fall into one of four basic categories. Everything you do is an attempt to
enhance the quality of your life in one or more of these areas.
The first category is your desire for happy relationships. You want to love and be
loved by others. You want to have a happy, harmonious home life. You want to get
along well with the people around you, and you want to earn the respect of the
people you respect. Your involvement in social and community affairs results from
your desire to have happy interactions with others and to make a contribution to the
society you live in.

The second category is your desire for interesting and challenging work. You want to
make a good living, of course, but more than that, you want to really enjoy your
occupation or profession. The very best times of your life are when you are
completely absorbed in your work.

The third category is your desire for financial independence. You want to be free
from worries about money. You want to have enough money in the bank so that you
can make decisions without counting your pennies. You want to achieve a certain
financial state so that you can retire in comfort and never have to be concerned
about whether or not you have enough money to support your lifestyle. Financial
independence frees you from poverty and a need to depend upon others for your
livelihood. If you save and invest regularly throughout your working life, you will
eventually reach the point where you will never have to work again.

The fourth category is your desire for good health, to be free of pain and illness and
to have a continuous flow of energy and feelings of well-being. In fact, your health is
so central t your life that you take it for granted until something happens to disrupt

The common denominator of these four goals, and the essential requirement for
achieving each of them, is a high level of energy. The achievement of even a small
amount of success in any one of these areas requires the development and
expenditure of energy. Energy is a critical fuel and the one ingredient without which
no other accomplishment is possible.

The aim of strategic planning for corporations is to find ways to organize the
business to increase ROE, return on equity. ROE refers to the return on the capital
invested in the enterprise. By shifting resources from areas of lower value to areas of
higher potential value, the ROE in the business can be increased. In personal
strategic planning, the aim is similar. It is also to increase ROE, but in this case, ROE
stands for return on energy. All the work on personal development, self-
improvement, goal setting, and time management is aimed at helping you to
increase your return on energy, or as my friend Ken Blanchard calls it, “your return
on life.” You are continually organizing and reorganizing your time and your
resources so that you can get the very most pleasure, satisfaction, and rewards from
the time and energy you put into your activities on a day-to-day basis.

Whereas companies have financial capital, you have human capital. Your human
capital is composed of mental, emotional, and physical energy. The more energy you
have to invest, and the more intelligently you invest it, the greater will be your

It is not the amount of time that you spend at your work or on your relationships
that matters. Rather, it is the amount of yourself that you put into the time. If you
have gone to bed late, gotten up early, and gone to work tired, you may be
physically present for eight hours, but the quality and quantity of work that you can
accomplish during that period of time is compromised. You’ll achieve only a small
percentage of your potential productivity compared with what you can accomplish
when you are fully rested and filled with enthusiasm.

In every area of your life, it is the quality of the time that you put into your activities
that determines the rewards and satisfaction that you receive from them; this
depends upon your energy level.

Building and sustaining your energy level is imperative. Since your energy is central
to everything you accomplish, you should be very sensitive to things that either build
or deplete it. Here are six keys to building and maintaining a high level of energy and

1. Proper weight. Carrying extra weight on your body is like carrying a pack
loaded with bricks on your back — uphill. Excess weight tires you out. It taxes
your heart, your lungs, and your muscles. Extra weight forces your body to
burn up more energy than it normally would just to maintain life and proper

On the other hand, losing weight will increase your energy level almost
immediately. Your self-esteem will go up. You will feel healthier and happier.
As you lose weight, you will feel a greater sense of power and personal
control. When you reach your ideal weight, you will be more effective in
everything else you do.

2. Proper diet. The foods you eat have a tremendous impact on your energy
level throughout the day. Changes in your diet can make you feel fresher,
more alive, more alert, and filled with greater vitality than you can imagine.

The way to live to a ripe, happy, healthy old age is to shift the proportions of
food you eat so you are consuming more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain
products. When you get used to eating highly nutritious foods, you’ll be less
willing to eat foods that are not particularly good for you.

3. Proper exercise. The more regularly you exercise, the more energy you have,
the better you feel, and the longer you will live. Regular exercise enhances
your digestion, reduces the number of hours that you need to sleep, and
increases your vitality in the physical, mental, and emotional realms.

There are three basic types of exercise: flexibility, strength, and endurance.

Flexibility exercises, such as yoga, require gentle stretching of all your

muscles and the articulation of each of your joints each day. The more you
stretch your muscles on a regular basis, the more relaxed, coordinated, and
looser you will feel.

Strength exercises include calisthenics, weight lifting, and other exercises that
build your muscles.

But perhaps the most important are endurance, or aerobic, exercises. One of
the keys to long life and good health is aerobic exercise at least three times
per week for a minimum of 30 minutes per time. You can achieve aerobic
fitness by walking, running, swimming, cycling, rowing, or cross-country
skiing. The important thing is that you exercise at least three times per week
— and many people say five times per week — for the rest of your life. This
will affect your levels of health and energy in everything else you do.
Everything counts.

4. Proper rest and recreation. On average, you need seven to eight hours of
good, solid sleep each night. Some people can get by on less. But you should
plan and organize your evenings so that you are “early to bed and early to
rise.” Remember, nature demands balance in all things. If you are going to
work hard during the day, you must take time off to rest and recuperate in
the evenings and on the weekends. The more balance you have between
work and recreation, the more energy you will have and the more productive
you will be.

5. Proper breathing. By breathing, I mean deep diaphragmatic breathing, where

you fill your lungs to the count of 10, hold to the count of 10, and then exhale
to the count of 10. If you do this seven to 10 times, two or three times per
day, you will be amazed at how much fresher and more relaxed you feel.

6. Proper attitude. Positive Mental Attitude seems to go hand in hand with great
achievement and success in every walk of life. The more positive you are, the
more energy you have. The more positive you are, the happier you are. The
more positive you are, the more positive are the people and situations you
attract into your life. The more positive you are, the easier it seems for you to
get the cooperation of other people. The more positive you are, the more
effectively you perform.

On the other hand, negative emotions drain your energy, enthusiasm, and
vitality. They tire you out and depress your immune system. Bouts of fear,
anger, doubt, resentment, or guilt will be manifested in your physical body.

Keep your energy level high by always looking for the good in every person,
in every situation. Seek the valuable lesson in every setback or adversity.
Look for the equal or greater benefit that comes out of every disappointment.
Be a perennial optimist. Be cheerful and positive. Be helpful and supportive.
Be a source of encouragement and inspiration. Be the kind of person
everybody looks forward to seeing and talking to.

Every success is the result of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of tiny

efforts that nobody may ever see or appreciate. These tiny efforts, sacrifices,
and disciplines accumulate to make you an extraordinary person.

Everything that you do counts in some way. Nothing is neutral. Everything

either helps you or hurts you. Everything either adds up or takes away.
Everything either propels you toward your goal or moves you away from it.
Everything counts.

With regard to your levels of health and energy, everything that you do, or
don’t do, will have an impact on how you feel and how you perform. And the
results of all these activities are cumulative. People who are healthy and
energetic in their 50s and 60s were engaging in positive health habits in their
20s and 30s. People who live a long, healthy, happy life into their 80s are
people who began planning for it and disciplining themselves in their 30s and
40s. Everything counts.

Leading and Motivating

By: Brian Tracy

It’s been said that “Leadership is not what you do, but who you are.” This, however,
is only partially true. Leadership is very much who you are, but it cannot be divorced
from what you do. Who you are represents the inner person, and what you do
represents the outer person. Each is dependent on the other for maximum

The starting point of motivational leadership is to begin seeing yourself as a role

model, seeing yourself as an example to others. See yourself as a person who sets the
standards that others follow. A key characteristic of leaders is that they set high
standards of accountability for themselves and for their behaviors. They assume that
others are watching them and then setting their own standards by what they do. They,
in fact, lead by example, just exactly as though someone were following them around,
surreptitiously taking notes and photographs of their daily actions for others to see and
act on.

Motivational leadership is based on the Law of Indirect Effort. According to this law,
most things in human life are achieved more easily by indirect means than they are by
direct means. You more easily become a leader to others by demonstrating that you
have the qualities of leadership than you do by ordering others to follow your
directions. Instead of trying to get people to emulate you, you concentrate on living a
life that is so admirable that others want to be like you without your saying a word.

In business, there are several kinds of power. Two of these are ascribed power and
position power.

Position power is the power that comes with a job title or position in any
organization. If you become a manager in a company, you automatically have certain
powers and privileges that go along with your rank. You can order people about and
make certain decisions. You can be a leader whether or not anyone likes you.

Ascribed power is the power you gain because of the kind of person you are. In
every organization, there are people who are inordinately influential and looked up to
by others, even though their positions may not be high up on the organizational chart.
These are the men and women who are genuine leaders because of the quality of the
people they have become, because of their characters and their personalities.

Perhaps the most powerful of motivational leaders is the person who practices what
is called “servant leadership.” Confucius said, “He who would be master must be
servant of all.” The person who sees himself or herself as a servant, and who does
everything possible to help others to perform at their best, is practicing the highest
form of servant leadership.

Over the years, we have been led to believe that leaders are those who stride boldly
about, exude power and confidence, give orders and make decisions for others to carry
out. However, that is old school. The leader of today is the one who asks questions,
listens carefully, plans diligently and then builds consensus among all those who are
necessary for achieving the goals. The leader does not try to do it by himself or herself.
The leader gets things done by helping others to do them.

This brings us to five of the qualities of motivational leaders. These are qualities
that you already have to a certain degree and that you can develop further to stand out
from the people around you in a very short period of time.

The first quality is vision. This is the one single quality that, more than anything,
separates leaders from followers. Leaders have vision. Followers do not. Leaders have
the ability to stand back and see the big picture. Followers are caught up in day-to-day
activities. Leaders have developed the ability to fix their eyes on the horizon and see
greater possibilities. Followers are those whose eyes are fixed on the ground in front of
them and who are so busy that they seldom look at themselves and their activities in a
larger context.

George Bernard Shaw summarized this quality of leaders; in the words of one of his
characters: “Most men look at what is and ask, ‘Why?’ I instead look at what could be
and ask, ‘Why not?’”

The best way for you to motivate others is to be motivated yourself. The fastest
way to get others excited about a project is to get excited yourself. The way to get
others committed to achieving a goal or a result is to be totally committed yourself. The
way to build loyalty to your organization, and to other people, is to be an example of
loyalty in everything you say and do. These all are applications of the Law of Indirect
Effort. They very neatly tie in to the quality of vision.

One requirement of leadership is the ability to choose an area of excellence. Just as

a good general chooses the terrain on which to do battle, an excellent leader chooses
the area in which he and others are going to do an outstanding job. The commitment to
excellence is one of the most powerful of all motivators. All leaders who change people
and organizations are enthusiastic about achieving excellence in a particular area.

The most motivational vision you can have for yourself and others is to “Be the
best!” Many people don’t yet realize that excellent performance in serving other people
is an absolute, basic essential for survival in the economy of the future. Many
individuals and companies still adhere to the idea that as long as they are no worse
than anyone else, they can remain in business. That is just plain silly! It is prehistoric
thinking. We are now in the age of excellence. Customers assume that they will get
excellent quality, and if they don’t, they will go to your competitors so fast, people’s
heads will spin.

As a leader, your job is to be excellent at what you do, to be the best in your
chosen field of endeavor. Your job is to have a vision of high standards in serving
people. You not only exemplify excellence in your own behavior, but you also translate
it to others so that they, too, become committed to this vision.

This is the key to servant leadership. It is the commitment to doing work of the
highest quality in the service of other people, both inside and outside the organization.
Leadership today requires an equal focus on the people who must do the job, on the
one hand, and the people who are expected to benefit from the job, on the other.

The second quality, which is perhaps the single most respected quality of leaders, is
integrity. Integrity is complete, unflinching honesty with regard to everything that you
say and do. Integrity underlies all the other qualities. Your measure of integrity is
determined by how honest you are in the critical areas of your life.

Integrity means this: When someone asks you at the end of the day, “Did you do
your very best?” you can look him in the eye and say, “Yes!” Integrity means this:
When someone asks you if you could have done it better, you can honestly say, “No, I
did everything I possibly could.”

Integrity means that you, as a leader, admit your shortcomings. It means that you
work to develop your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. Integrity means
that you tell the truth, and that you live the truth in everything that you do and in all
your relationships. Integrity means that you deal straightforwardly with people and
situations and that you do not compromise what you believe to be true.

If the first two qualities of motivational leadership are vision and integrity, the third
quality is the one that backs them both up. It is courage. It is the chief distinguishing
characteristic of the true leader. It is almost always visible in the leader’s words and
actions. It is absolutely indispensable to success, happiness and the ability to motivate
other people to be the best they can be.

In a way, it is easy to develop a big vision for yourself and for the person you want
to be. It is easy to commit yourself to living with complete integrity. But it requires
incredible courage to follow through on your vision and on your commitments. You see,
as soon as you set a high goal or standard for yourself, you will run into all kinds of
difficulties and setbacks. You will be surrounded by temptations to compromise your
values and your vision. You will feel an almost irresistible urge to “get along by going
along.” Your desire to earn the respect and cooperation of others can easily lead to the
abandonment of your principles, and here is where courage comes in.

Courage combined with integrity is the foundation of character. The first form of
courage is your ability to stick to your principles, to stand for what you believe in and to
refuse to budge unless you feel right about the alternative. Courage is also the ability to
step out in faith, to launch out into the unknown and then to face the inevitable doubt
and uncertainty that accompany every new venture.

Most people are seduced by the lure of the comfort zone. This can be likened to
going out of a warm house on a cold, windy morning. The average person, when he
feels the storm swirling outside his comfort zone, rushes back inside where it’s nice and
warm. But not the true leader. The true leader has the courage to step away from the
familiar and comfortable and to face the unknown with no guarantees of success. It is
this ability to “boldly go where no man has gone before” that distinguishes you as a
leader from the average person. This is the example that you must set if you are to rise
above the average. It is this example that inspires and motivates other people to rise
above their previous levels of accomplishment as well.

Alexander the Great, the king of Macedonia, was one of the most superb leaders of
all time. He became king at the age of 19, when his father, Philip II, was assassinated.
In the next 11 years, he conquered much of the known world, leading his armies
against numerically superior forces.

Yet, when he was at the height of his power, the master of the known world, the
greatest ruler in history to that date, he would still draw his sword at the beginning of a
battle and lead his men forward into the conflict. He insisted on leading by example.
Alexander felt that he could not ask his men to risk their lives unless he was willing to
demonstrate by his actions that he had complete confidence in the outcome. The sight
of Alexander charging forward so excited and motivated his soldiers that no force on
earth could stand before them.

The fourth quality of motivational leadership is realism. Realism is a form of

intellectual honesty. The realist insists upon seeing the world as it really is, not as he
wishes it were. This objectivity, this refusal to engage in self-delusion, is a mark of the
true leader.

Those who exhibit the quality of realism do not trust to luck, hope for miracles, pray
for exceptions to basic business principles, expect rewards without working or hope
that problems will go away by themselves. These all are examples of self-delusion, of
living in a fantasyland.

The motivational leader insists on seeing things exactly as they are and encourages
others to look at life the same way. As a motivational leader, you get the facts,
whatever they are. You deal with people honestly and tell them exactly what you
perceive to be the truth. This doesn’t mean that you will always be right, but you will
always be expressing the truth in the best way you know how.
The fifth quality of motivational leadership is responsibility. This is perhaps the
hardest of all to develop. The acceptance of responsibility means that, as Harry Truman
said, “The buck stops here.”

The game of life is very competitive. Sometimes, great success and great failure are
separated by a very small distance. In watching the play-offs in basketball, baseball
and football, we see that the winner can be decided by a single point, and that single
point can rest on a single action, or inaction, on the part of a single team member at a
critical part of the game.

Life is very much like competitive sports. Very small things that you do, or don’t do,
can either give you the edge that leads to victory or take away your edge at the critical
moment. This principle is especially true with regard to accepting responsibility for
yourself and for everything that happens to you.

The opposite of accepting responsibility is making excuses, blaming others and

becoming upset, angry and resentful toward people for what they have done to you or
not done for you.

Any one of these three behaviors can trip you up and be enough to cost you the

If you run into an obstacle or setback and you make excuses rather than accept
responsibility, it’s a five-yard penalty. It can cost you a first down. It can cost you a
touchdown. It can make the difference between success and failure.

If, when you face a problem or setback, and you both make excuses and blame
someone else, you get a 10-yard penalty. In a tightly contested game, where the
teams are just about even, a 10-yard penalty can cost you the game.

If, instead of accepting responsibility when things go wrong, you make excuses, blame
someone else and simultaneously become angry and resentful and blow up, you get a
15-yard penalty. This may cost you the championship and your career as well if it

Personal leadership and motivational leadership are very much the same. To lead
others, you must first lead yourself. To be an example or a role model for others, you
must first become an excellent person yourself.

You motivate yourself with a big vision, and as you move progressively toward its
realization, you motivate and enthuse others to work with you to fulfill that vision.

You exhibit absolute honesty and integrity with everyone in everything you do. You
are the kind of person others admire and respect and want to be like. You set a
standard that others aspire to. You live in truth with yourself and others so that they
feel confident giving you their support and their commitment.

You demonstrate courage in everything you do by facing doubts and uncertainties

and moving forward regardless. You put up a good front even when you feel anxious
about the outcome. You don’t burden others with your fears and misgivings. You keep
them to yourself. You constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone and in the
direction of your goals. And no matter how bleak the situation might appear, you keep
on keeping on with a smile.

You are intensely realistic. You refuse to engage in mental games or self-delusion.
You encourage others to be realistic and objective about their situations as well. You
encourage them to realize and appreciate that there is a price to pay for everything
they want. They have weaknesses that they will have to overcome, and they have
standards that they will have to meet, if they want to survive and thrive in a
competitive market.

You accept complete responsibility for results. You refuse to make excuses or blame
others or hold grudges against people who you feel may have wronged you. You say,
“If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” You repeat over and over the words, “I am responsible. I
am responsible. I am responsible.”

Finally, you take action. You know that all mental preparation and character
building is merely a prelude to action. It’s not what you say but what you do that
The mark of the true leader is that he or she leads the action. He or she is willing to
go first. He or she sets the example and acts as the role model. He or she does what he
or she expects others to do.

You become a motivational leader by motivating yourself. And you motivate

yourself by striving toward excellence, by committing yourself to becoming everything
you are capable of becoming. You motivate yourself by throwing your whole heart into
doing your job in an excellent fashion. You motivate yourself and others by continually
looking for ways to help others to improve their lives and achieve their goals. You
become a motivational leader by becoming the kind of person others want to get
behind and support in every way.

Your main job is to take complete control of your personal evolution and become a
leader in every area of your life. You could ask for nothing more, and you should settle
for nothing less.
Make Every Minute Count

Save Hundreds Of Hours And Save Thousands Of Dollars In Personal

Your mind is your most precious asset. You must be continually working to increase
the quality of your thinking. One of the best ways is to turn driving time into learning
time. Listen to educational audio cassettes in your car. The average driver according
to the American Automobile Association, drives 12,000 to 25,000 miles each year,
spending 500 to 1000 hours that you spend each year in your car. That is the
equivalent of 12 1/2 to 25 forty-hour weeks. This is the same as two full university
semesters spent behind the wheel of your car each year.

Use Traveling Time As Learning Time

If you did nothing but use that traveling time as learning time, this decision alone
could make you one of the best educated people of your generation. Many people
have gone from rags to riches simply by listening to audio programs as they drive to
and from work.

Attend Every Seminar

In addition, for personal and professional development, you should attend every
seminar you can. You can often save yourself 100’s of hours of reading and
researching by attending a seminar given by an authority in his or her field. You can
learn ideas, techniques and methods that can save you hours, days, even months of
hard work and research on your own.

Increase Your Income

Remember, to earn more, you must learn more. Your outer world of results will
always correspond to your inner world of preparation. I've always loved the poem
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow where he describes those who achieve great things
with their lives:

"Those heights by great men reached and kept

were not obtained by sudden flight,
but they, while their companions slept
were toiling upward in the night"

Remember, continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.

Now, here are two things you can do to put these ideas to work in your life

First, purchase an audio program that can help you to be happier and more effective
today. Begin listening to it immediately. Resolve never to listen to music in your car
when you can turn driving time into learning time.

Second, seek out seminars and training programs given by experts in your field. Sit
close to the front, take careful notes, and apply the best ideas that you learn
Making the Most of Change
By: Brian Tracy

To deal with change, perhaps the most valuable quality you can develop is flexibility.
Form the habit of remaining open-minded and adaptable to new information and
circumstances. When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, instead of becoming
upset or frustrated, practice looking into the change or reversal for the opportunity or
benefit it might contain.

Superior men and women are invariably those who remain calm and keep their wits
about them in the midst of unexpected turbulence. They take a deep breath, they
relax, and they assess the situation objectively. They keep themselves calm and
unemotional by asking questions and seeking information when things don’t work out
as they expected. For example, if someone doesn’t fulfill a commitment, or if a sale is
canceled, or fails to go through, they keep their minds clear and steady by asking
questions, such as “What exactly happened in this situation?” They deal with change by
focusing on getting the facts before reacting. They develop the ability to cut through
the confusion and ask questions such as “Why did this happen? How did it happen?
How serious is it? Now that it has happened, what are the various things we can do?”

Robert Fritz, in his book The Path of Least Resistance, makes a clear distinction
between effective people and ineffective people. He says that ineffective people have a
tendency to be in a reactive-responsive mode of behavior much of the time. Instead of
consciously and deliberately choosing their courses of action, they react to what is
going on around them, and they respond to their emotions, sometimes blowing up and
sometimes becoming depressed. They ride an emotional roller coaster. And the very
best they can hope for, in this mode of behavior, is to get back to even, where they
were before they became upset.

The superior person, according to Robert Fritz, concentrates his attention on his
“future vision.” Whenever an unexpected change or setback occurs, the superior person
immediately focuses his mind on where he wants to be at a future time. This future
vision is something that he has planned and given a lot of thought to, so it is fairly easy
to conjure up at a moment’s notice.

Since your conscious mind can hold only one thought at a time, when you
deliberately insist upon thinking about your goal or your future vision, your mind
immediately becomes calm and positive, and you feel in control. Superior people
always choose the future over the past. They always ask, “What do we do now?” rather
than lose time and energy by looking around for someone to blame or criticize. They
keep themselves performing at their best by thinking and talking about a desired future

There is a little poem, “Two men looked out through prison bars./ One saw the mud;
the other saw the stars.” You can greatly improve your ability to deal with change by
focusing your attention on the future, and by seeing the glass as half-full rather than

The critical issue in dealing with change is the subject of control. Most of your stress
and unhappiness comes as a result of feeling out of control in a particular area of your
life. If you think about the times or places where you feel the very best about yourself,
you will notice that you have a high degree of control in those places. One of the
reasons why you like to get home after a trip is that, after you walk through your front
door, you feel completely in control of your environment. You know where everything
is. You don’t have to answer to anyone. You can relax completely. You are back in

Psychologists call this the difference between an internal locus of control and an
external locus of control. Your locus of control is where you feel the control is located
for a particular part of your life. A person with an external locus of control feels that he
is controlled by forces outside of himself. Most people feel that they are controlled by
their boss, or their bills, or their relationships, or their childhood experiences, or their
external environment. When a person has an external locus of control, he or she feels a
high degree of stress. And with an external locus of control, a person is very tense and
uneasy about change of any kind. Change represents a threat that may leave the
individual worse off than before.

On the other hand, the person with an internal locus of control enjoys a high degree
of self-determination. He feels that he is very much in charge of his life. He plans his
work and works his plan. He accepts a high degree of responsibility, and he believes
that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and that he is the primary creative
force in his life.

Since the only thing over which you have complete control is the content of your
conscious mind, your ability to deal with change begins with your taking full, complete
control over the things you think. As Thomas Huxley said, “Experience is not what
happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.” Since change is
inevitable and continuous, it is how you think about what is happening to you that is
most important in determining how change affects you, and whether you use it to your
advantage or let it work to your disadvantage.

In his book Celebrations of Life, Rene Dubos says that we fear change more today
than ever before, and for less reason. The reason you fear change is because you are
afraid that you will be worse off as a result. No one fears change that implies
improvement. For example, if you learned that you were going to have to change your
life-style because you had just won a lottery, this is not the kind of change that you
would avoid or anticipate with dread. It is change that implies unpleasant surprises that
you fear and become anxious about because it causes you to feel that you have lost a
certain amount of control in that part of your life.

Your aim is to become a “change master,” to embrace change, to welcome change,

and to ride the tides of change. You do this by taking control of the direction of change
in your life and assuring that it is predominately positive and toward improvements you
Boat builders know that the deeper the keel of a sailing vessel, the more stable it will
be in storms, squalls and gusts of wind. The same holds true for you. The deeper your
keel, or the stabilizing factors in your life, the less likely it is that you will be blown
over, or off course, when unexpected change occurs.

You can deepen your keel and increase your stability by setting big goals for yourself
and making clear, written plans for their accomplishment. Goals enable you to control
the direction of change. With goals, change becomes planned and deliberate, instead of
random and haphazard. Goals assure that the changes that take place in your life are
primarily self-determined and self-directed. With clear, specific goals, the changes that
take place will tend to be positive and move you toward something that you want to
achieve, rather than blow you off course.
For example, if you are in business or in sales, you will experience a continuous
series of large and small disappointments and setbacks. That is the nature of the game.
They are inevitable and unavoidable. Some things work out, and some things don’t.
Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. In spite of your best efforts, unexpected and
unpredictable events will derail your best-laid plans. This endless process of change and
setbacks begins when you first enter into the world of work, and it continues for the
rest of your life. Problems, changes are like the rain⎯they just happen.

But if you set clear goals for your work, for your family life and for your personal
development, then no matter what happens, you can concentrate your thinking on your
goals and take a long-term view of your current circumstances. You can, in effect, rise
above the challenges of the moment, and keep your eyes on the guiding stars of your
life and your most cherished dreams.

If you are in sales, and you are working toward a series of sales goals, you will be
developing a wide range of prospective customers. You will be working simultaneously
on customers who are both short-term and medium-term, as well as large and small
prospects. Meanwhile, you will be working on yourself, to become better and more
knowledgeable in your field. You will have plans and engage in activities with the
important people in your life. With clear goals, you will be multidimensional rather than
one-dimensional. A setback or disappointment in any one part of your life will be
quickly offset by the fact that you are busy in many other areas, and you simply won’t
allow yourself to invest too much emotional energy in one particular thing that doesn’t
work out to plan.

With a clear idea of where you’re going and what you want to accomplish, you
develop resilience, which is the ability to bounce back rather than to break. You develop
what is called the “hardy personality” and become the type of person who is resistant
to the negative emotions that affect people who have no goals or direction.
The first step in dealing with any change is simply to accept the change as a reality.
Acceptance is the opposite of rejection or resistance. Acceptance keeps your mind calm
and positive. As William James said, “The starting point in dealing with any difficulty is
to be willing to have it so.” The minute you accept that a change has occurred, and that
you can’t cry over spilled milk, you become more capable of dealing with the change
and turning it to your advantage.

One of the best ways to deal with the worry that is often generated by unexpected
changes is to sit down and answer, on paper, the question: “What exactly am I
worrying about?”

In medicine, it is said that accurate diagnosis is half the cure. When you sit down and
define a worry situation clearly on paper, it suddenly becomes less stressful to you, and
it will often resolve itself. In any case, when it is clearly defined, you have diagnosed it,
and you can now do something about it.

The second step is to ask yourself, “What is the worst possible thing that can happen
in this worry situation?” Much worry and stress comes from the refusal to face what
might happen as a result of your difficulty or problem. When you clearly define the
worst possible outcome, and write it down next to the definition of the problem, you will
find that, whatever it is, you can handle it. Often your worries will begin to evaporate
as soon as you have clearly determined the worst that might happen as a result.
Now decide to accept the worst possible outcome should it occur. Mentally resolve
that, even if the worst possible consequences ensue from this situation, it will not be
the end of the world for you. You will accept it and carry on. In fact, it could probably
be a lot worse. The very act of accepting the worst possible outcome completes the
cycle of eliminating from your mind the stress and anxiety associated with the

You are now ready for the third step in dealing with change, and that is to adjust
your behaviors and actions to the new situation. Ask yourself, “What are all the things I
can do to make sure that the worst possible outcome does not occur?” Sometimes we
call this “damage control.” In the business schools, this is an important part of decision
making, and it is called the “mini-max regret solution.” What can you do to minimize
the maximum damage that can occur from an unexpected change or setback? As you
begin thinking of all the things you can do, you are adjusting your mind to the new
information and preparing to take steps to deal with the change effectively.

The final part of this four-step method for dealing with change is to improve on the
existing situation. Often, a change signals that your plans are incomplete or that you
might be heading in the wrong direction. Serious changes, which seemingly create real
problems, are often signals that you are on the wrong track. There is an old saying,
“Crisis is change trying to take place.” If, instead of resisting change, like a pine tree
that snaps in a strong wind, you bend with change, like a willow tree, you will often find
that the change is a healthy and positive step toward achieving your goals.

W. Clement Stone, the founder of Combined Insurance Company of America, is

famous for his attitude of being an “inverse paranoid.” He is convinced that everything
that happens is part of a conspiracy to help him to be more successful. Whenever
something unexpected occurs, he immediately says, “That’s good!” and then looks into
the situation to find out exactly what is good about it.

If you look into any change, you will always find something good and beneficial for
you in the change. Look for the valuable lesson contained within every setback. What is
the hidden advantage that you can turn to your benefit? Is this change a signal that, if
properly responded to, will save you a much bigger change or problem in the future?
Since your mind can hold only one thought at a time, as I mentioned, if you force
yourself to look for the positive aspect of any change, you’ll keep your mind clear, and
you’ll keep your attitude optimistic and confident.

Viktor Frankl said that the last great freedom of man is the freedom to choose his
attitude under any given set of circumstances. You cannot control what happens to you,
but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be
mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.

The mark of a superior person is what is called “tolerance for ambiguity.” This simply
means that you have the capacity to deal effectively in a rapidly changing situation. The
higher up you go⎯the greater your income and responsibilities, the higher your status
and position⎯the faster the rate of change will be around you. At every stage, it will be
your ability to function with calmness, clarity and quiet assurance that will mark you as
the kind of person who is going places in life. In the final analysis, your ability to
perform effectively in a world of ongoing change is the true measure of how well-
developed a person you really are. And the keys are to accept change, to adjust to
change, to improve upon change, and then to move on to the next situation. As you
continue to do this, you will have such a wonderful feeling of self-control and self-
determination that your whole life will be bright and positive, and so will your results.

Managing Your Time

By: Brian Tracy

Perhaps the greatest single problem that people have today is “time poverty.”
Working people have too much to do and too little time for their personal lives. Most
people feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and activities, and the harder they
work, the further behind they feel. This sense of being on a never-ending treadmill
can cause you to fall into the reactive/responsive mode of living. Instead of clearly
deciding what you want to do, you continually react to what is happening around
you. Pretty soon you lose all sense of control. You feel that your life is running you,
rather than you running your life.

On a regular basis, you have to stand back and take stock of yourself and what
you’re doing. You have to stop the clock and do some serious thinking about who
you are and where you are going. You have to evaluate your activities in the light of
what is really important to you. You must master your time rather than becoming a
slave to the constant flow of events and demands on your time. And you must
organize your life to achieve balance, harmony, and inner peace.

Taking action without thinking is the cause of every failure. Your ability to think
is the most valuable trait that you possess. If you improve the quality of your
thinking, you improve the quality of your life⎯sometimes immediately.

Time is your most precious resource. It is the most valuable thing you have. It
is perishable, it is irreplaceable, and it cannot be saved. It can only be reallocated
from activities of lower value to activities of higher value. All work requires time.
And time is absolutely essential for the important relationships in your life. The very
act of taking a moment to think about your time before you spend it will begin to
improve your personal time management immediately.

I used to think that time management was only a business tool, like a calculator
or a cellular telephone. It was something that you used so that you could get more
done in a shorter period of time and eventually be paid more money. Then I learned
that time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon
which everything else in life depends.

In your work or business life, there are so many demands on your time from
other people that very little of your time is yours to use as you choose. However, at
home and in your personal life you can exert a tremendous amount of control over
how you use your time. And it is in this area that I want to focus.

Personal time management begins with you. It begins with your thinking through
what is really important to you in life. And it only makes sense if you organize it
around specific things that you want to accomplish. You need to set goals in three
major areas of your life. First, you need family and personal goals. These are the
reasons why you get up in the morning, why you work hard and upgrade your skills,
why you worry about money and sometimes feel frustrated by the demands on your
What are your personal and family goals, both tangible and intangible? A tangible
family goal could be a bigger house, a better car, a larger television set, a vacation,
or anything else that costs money. An intangible goal would be to build a higher
quality relationship with your spouse and children, to spend more time with your
family going for walks or reading books. Achieving these family and personal goals
are the real essence of time management, and its major purpose.

The second area of goals are your business and career goals. These are the
“how” goals, the means by which you achieve your personal, “why” goals. How can
you achieve the level of income that will enable you to fulfill your family goals? How
can you develop the skills and abilities to stay ahead of the curve in your career?
Business and career goals are absolutely essential, especially when balanced with
family and personal goals.

The third type of goals are your personal development goals. Remember, you
can’t achieve much more on the outside than what you have achieved on the inside.
Your outer life will be a reflection of your inner life. If you wish to achieve worthwhile
things in your personal and your career life, you must become a worthwhile person
in your own self-development. You must build yourself if you want to build your life.
Perhaps the greatest secret of success is that you can become anything you really
want to become to achieve any goal that you really want to achieve. But in order to
do it, you must go to work on yourself and never stop.

Once you have a list of your personal and family goals, your business and career
goals, and your self-development goals, you can then organize the list by priority.
This brings us to the difference between priorities and posteriorities. In order to get
your personal time under control, you must decide very clearly upon your priorities.
You must decide on the most important things that you could possible be doing to
give yourself the same amount of happiness, satisfaction, and joy in life. But at the
same time, you must establish posteriorities as well. Just as priorities are things
that you do more of and sooner, posteriorities are things that you do less of and

The fact is, your calendar is full. You have no spare time. Your time is extremely
valuable. Therefore, for you to do anything new, you will have to stop doing
something old. In order to get into something, you will have to get out of something
else. In order to pick something up, you will have to put something down. Before
you make any new commitment of your time, you must firmly decide what activities
you are going to discontinue in your personal life.

If you want to spend more time with your family, for example, you must decide
what activities you currently engage in that are preventing you from doing so.

A principle of time management says that hard time pushes out soft time. This
means that hard time, such as working, will push out soft time, such as the time you
spend with your family. If you don’t get your work done at the office because you
don’t use your time well, you almost invariably have to rob that time from your
family. As a result, because your family is important to you, you find yourself in a
values conflict. You feel stressed and irritable. You feel a tremendous amount of
pressure. You know in your heart that you should be spending more time with the
important people in your life, but because you didn’t get your work done, you have
to fulfill those responsibilities before you can spend time with your spouse and
Think of it this way. Every minute you waste during the waking day is time that
your family will ultimately be deprived of. So concentrate on working when you are
at work so that you can concentrate on your family when you are at home.

There are three key questions that you can ask yourself continually to keep your
personal life in balance. The first question is, “What is really important to me?”
Whenever you find yourself with too much to do and too little time, stop and ask
yourself, “What is it that is really important for me to do in this situation?” Then,
make sure that what you are doing is the answer to that question.

The second question is, “What are my highest value activities?” In your personal
life, this means, “What are the things that I do that give me the greatest pleasure
and satisfaction? Of all the things that I could be doing at any one time, what are
the things that I could do to add the greatest value to my life?”

And the final question for you to ask over and over again is, “What is the most
valuable use of my time right now?” Since you can only do one thing at a time, you
must constantly organize you life so that you are doing one thing, the most
important thing, at every moment.

Personal time management enables you to choose what to do first, what to do

second, and what not to do at all. It enables you to organize every aspect of your
life so that you can get the greatest joy, happiness, and satisfaction out of
everything you do.

Setting Priorities
By: Brian Tracy

In 1970, sociologist Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University wrote a book

entitled The Unheavenly City. He described one of the most profound studies on
success and priority setting ever conducted.

Banfield’s goal was to find out how and why some people became financially
independent during the course of their working lifetimes. He started off convinced
that the answer to this question would be found in factors such as family
background, education, intelligence, influential contacts, or some other concrete
factor. What he finally discovered was that the major reason for success in life was a
particular attitude of mind.

Banfield called this attitude “long time perspective.” He said that men and women
who were the most successful in life and the most likely to move up economically
were those who took the future into consideration with every decision they made in
the present. He found that the longer the period of time a person took into
consideration while planning and acting, the more likely it was that he would achieve
greatly during his career.

For example, one of the reasons your family doctor is among the most respected
people in America is because he or she invested many years of hard work and study
to finally earn the right to practice medicine. After university courses, internship,
residency and practical training, a doctor may be more than 30 years old before he
or she is capable of earning a good living. But from that point onward, these men
and women are some of the most respected and most successful professional people
in the United States. They had long time perspectives.

The essential key to success in setting priorities is having a long time perspective.
You can tell how important something is today by measuring its potential future
impact on your life.

For example, if you come home from work at night and choose to play with your
children or spend time with your spouse, rather than watch TV or read the paper,
you have a long time perspective. You know that investing time in the health and
happiness of your children and your spouse is a very valuable, high-priority use of

If you take additional courses in the evening to upgrade your skills and make
yourself more valuable to your employer, you’re acting with a long time perspective.
Learning something practical and useful can have a long-term effect on your career.

The key word, then, to keep in mind when you’re setting priorities is sacrifice.
Setting priorities usually requires sacrificing present enjoyment for future enjoyment.
It requires giving up a short-term pleasure in the present in order to enjoy a far
greater and more substantial pleasure in the future.

Economists say that the inability to delay gratification—that is, the natural
tendency of individuals to spend everything they earn plus a little bit more, and the
mind-set of doing what is fun, easy and enjoyable—is the primary cause of economic
and personal failure in life. On the other hand, disciplining yourself to do what you
know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem
and personal satisfaction.

So setting priorities begins with your deciding what you want most in life and then
organizing your time and activities so that everything you do is the most valuable
use of your time in achieving those objectives.

With your larger, long-term priorities in order, you can much more easily decide
upon your short-term priorities.

You can say that the process of setting short-term priorities begins with a pad of
paper and a pen. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by too many things to do and too
little time in which to do them, sit down, take a deep breath, and list all those tasks
you need to accomplish. Although there is never enough time to do everything, there
is always enough time to do the most important things, and to stay with them until
they are done right.

Peter Drucker once said, “Efficiency is doing things right, but effectiveness is doing
the right things.” And this requires thought.

Once you have listed your tasks, ask yourself this question: “If I were to be called
out of town for a month, and I could finish only one thing on this list, which one
thing would it be?” Think it through, and circle that one item on your list. Then ask
yourself: “If I could do only one more thing before I was called out of town for a
month, what would it be?” This then becomes the second thing you circle on your
Perform this exercise five or six times until you have sorted out the highest
priorities on your list. Then number each according to its importance. With these
priorities, you are now ready to begin working effectively toward the achievement of
your major goals.

Another popular method for setting priorities on your list, once you have
determined your major goals or objectives, is the A-B-C-D-E method. You place
one of those letters in the margin before each of the tasks on your list.
“A” stands for “very important; must do; severe negative consequences if not

“B” stands for “important; should do; but not as important as my ‘A’ tasks, and
only minor negative consequences if not completed.”

“C” stands for “nice to do; but not as important as ‘A’ or ‘B,’ and no negative
consequences for not completing.”

“D” stands for “delegate, or assign to someone else who can do the task in my

“E” stands for “eliminate, whenever possible.”

When you use the A-B-C-D-E method, you can very easily sort out what is
important and unimportant. This then will focus your time and attention on those
items on your list that are most essential for you to do.

Once you can clearly see the one or two things that you should be doing, above all
others, just say no to all diversions and distractions and focus single-mindedly on
accomplishing those priorities.

Much stress that people experience in their work lives comes from working on low-
priority tasks. The amazing thing is that as soon as you start working on your
highest-value activity, all your stress disappears. You begin to feel a continuous
stream of energy and enthusiasm. As you work toward the completion of something
that is really important, you feel an increased sense of personal value and inner
satisfaction. You experience a sensation of self-mastery and self-control. You feel
calm, confident and capable.

Here are six ideas that you can use, every day, to help you set priorities and to
keep you working at your best:

1. Take the time to be clear about your goals and objectives so that the priorities you
set are moving you in the direction of something that is of value to you. Remember
that many people scramble frantically to climb the ladder of success, only to find that
it is leaning against the wrong building.

2. Develop a long time perspective and work on those things in the present that can
have the greatest positive impact on your future. Maintain your balance in life by
setting priorities in the areas of your health, your personal relationships and your
financial goals.
3. Make the commitment to improve those aspects of your life that are most
important to you. If you’re in sales, learn how to be an excellent salesperson. If you’re
a parent, learn how to be an outstanding mother or father. The power is always on the
side of the person with the best practical knowledge.

4. Be sure to take the time to do your work right the first time. The fewer mistakes
you make, the less time you will waste going back and doing it over.

5. Remember that what counts is not the amount of time that you put in overall;
rather, it’s the amount of time that you spend working on high-priority tasks. You will
always be paid for the results that you obtain, not merely the hours that you spend on
the job.

6. Understand that the most important factor in setting priorities is your ability to
make wise choices. You are always free to choose to engage in one activity or another.
You may choose a higher-value activity or a lower-value activity, but once you have
chosen, you must accept the consequences of your choice.

Resolve today to set clear priorities in every area of your life, and always choose
the activities that will assure you the greatest health, happiness and prosperity in the
long term. The long term comes soon enough, and every sacrifice that you make
today will be rewarded with compound interest in the great future that lies ahead for

The Power of Charisma

By: Brian Tracy

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines charisma as “a personal magic of

leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure.”

Charisma is also that special quality of magnetism that each person has and that
each person uses to a certain degree. You have a special charisma to the people who
look up to you, who respect and admire you⎯the members of your family and your
friends and coworkers. Whenever and wherever a person feels a positive emotion
toward another, he imbues that person with charisma, or attractiveness.

In trying to explain charisma, some people speak of an “aura.” This aura is a light
that is invisible to most people, but not to everyone, and that radiates out from a
person and affects the people around that person in a positive or negative way. The
halo around the heads of saints and mystics in many religious paintings was the artist’s
attempt to depict the light that people reported seeing around the heads of these men
and women when they were speaking or praying, or in an intense emotional state.

You also have an aura around you that most people cannot see but that is there,
nevertheless. This aura affects the way people react and respond to you, either
positively or negatively. There is a lot that you can do, and a lot of good reasons for
you to do it, to control this aura and make it work in your best interests.

If you’re in sales, this aura, reflecting your level of charisma, can have a major
impact on the way your prospects and customers treat you and deal with you. Top
salespeople seem to be far more successful than the average salespeople in getting
along with their customers. they’re always more welcome, more positively received and
more trusted than the others. They sell more, and they sell more easily. They make a
better living, and they build better lives. Salespeople with charisma get far more
pleasure out of their work and suffer far less from stress and rejection. The charismatic
salesperson is almost invariably a top performer in his field and enjoys all the rewards
that go with superior sales.

If you’re in business, developing greater charisma can help you tremendously in

working with your staff, your suppliers, your bankers, your customers and everyone
else upon whom you depend for your success. People seem naturally drawn to those
who possess charisma. They want to help them and support them. When you have
charisma, people will open doors for you and bring you opportunities that otherwise
would not have been available to you.

In your personal relationships, the quality of charisma can make your life more
joyous, happier. People will naturally want to be around you. Members of your family
and your friends will be far happier in your company, and you will have a greater
influence on them, causing them to feel better about themselves and to do better at
the important things in their lives.

There is a close association between personal charisma and success in life. Probably
85 percent of your success and happiness will come from your relationships and
interactions with others. The more positively others respond to you, the easier it will be
for you to get the things you want.

In essence, when we discuss charisma, we are talking about the law of attraction.
This law has been stated in many different ways down through the centuries, but it
basically says that you inevitably attract into your life the people and circumstances
that harmonize with your dominant thoughts.

In a sense, you are a living magnet, and you are constantly radiating thought waves,
like a radio station radiates sound waves, that are picked up by other people. Your
thoughts, intensified by your emotions, as radio waves are intensified by electric
impulses, go out from you and are picked up by anyone who is tuned in to a similar
wavelength. You then attract into your life people, ideas, opportunities, resources,
circumstances and anything else that is consistent with your dominant frame of mind.

The law of attraction also explains how you can build up your levels of charisma so
that you can have a greater and more positive impact on the people whose
cooperation, support and affection you desire.

The critical thing to remember about charisma is that it is largely based on

perception. It is based on what people think about you. It is not so much reality as it is
what people perceive you to be. For example, one person can create charisma in
another person by speaking in glowing terms about that person to a third party. If you
believe that you are about to meet an outstanding and important person, that person
will tend to have charisma for you.

One of the most charismatic people in the world today is Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
In a physical sense, she is a quiet, elderly, frail woman in poor health, and she wears a
modest nun’s habit. She might be ignored by a person passing her on the street, were
it not for the tremendous charisma she has developed and for the fact that her
appearance is so well-known to so many people as a result.
If someone told you that he was going to introduce you to a brilliant, self-made
millionaire who was very quiet and unassuming about his success, you would almost
naturally imbue that person with charisma, and in his presence, you would not act the
same as you would if you had been told nothing at all. Charisma begins largely in the
mind of the beholder.

Of course, lasting charisma depends more upon the person you really are than upon
just the things you do. Nevertheless, you can build the perception of charisma for
yourself by utilizing the 10 great powers of personality that seem to have a major
impact on the way that people think and feel about you.

The first of these powers is the power of purpose. Men and women with charisma
and personal magnetism almost invariably have a clear vision of who they are, of
where they’re going and of what they’re trying to achieve. Leaders in sales and
management have a vision of what they’re trying to create and why they’re doing what
they’re doing. They’re focused on accomplishing some great purpose. They’re decisive
about every aspect of their lives. They know exactly what they want and what they
have to do to get it. They plan their work and work their plan.

In more than 3,300 studies of leadership, in every book and article ever written on
leadership, the quality of purpose, or vision, was one of the few qualities that was
consistently used in describing leaders.

You can increase your charisma and the magnetism of your personality by setting
clear goals for yourself, making plans to achieve them, and working on your plans with
discipline and determination every day. The whole world seems to move aside for the
person who knows exactly where he is going. In fact, the clearer you are about your
purposes and goals, the more likely people will be to attribute other positive qualities to
you. They will see you, or perceive you, as being a better and more admirable human
being. And when you have clear goals, you begin attracting to yourself the people and
opportunities necessary to make those goals a reality.

The second personality power is self-confidence. Men and women with charisma have
an intense belief in themselves and in what they are doing. They are usually calm, cool
and composed about themselves and their work. Your level of self-confidence is often
demonstrated in your courage, your willingness to do whatever is necessary to achieve
a purpose that you believe in.

People are naturally attracted to those who exude a sense of self-confidence, those
who have an unshakable belief in their ability to rise above circumstances to attain their

One of the ways you demonstrate self-confidence is by assuming that people

naturally like you and accept you and want to do business with you. For example, one
of the most powerful ways to close a sale is simply to assume that the prospect has
decided to purchase the product or service, and then go on to wrap up the details. One
of the best ways to achieve success in your relationships is to assume that people
naturally enjoy your company and want to be around you, and then proceed on that
basis. The very act of behaving in a self-confident manner will generate personal
charisma in the eyes of others.

The third power you can develop is enthusiasm. The more excited you are about
accomplishing something that is important to you, the more excited others will be
about helping you to do it. The fact is that emotions are contagious. The more passion
you have for your life and your activities, the more charisma you will possess, and the
more cooperation you will gain from others. Every great man or woman has been
totally committed to a noble cause and, as a result, has attracted the support and
encouragement of others⎯in many cases, thousands or millions of others.

The fourth personality power that you can develop is expertise, or competence. The
more knowledgeable you are perceived to be in your field, the more charisma you will
have among those who respect and admire that knowledge because of the impact it
can have on their lives. This is also the power of excellence, of being recognized by
others as an outstanding performer in your field. Men and women who do their jobs
extremely well and who are recognized for the quality of their work are those who
naturally attract the help and support of others. They have charisma.

The fifth power of personality that gives you charisma in the eyes of others is
thorough preparation, detailed preparation, prior to undertaking any significant task.
Whether you are calling on a prospect, meeting with your boss, giving a public talk or
making any other kind of presentation, when you are well-prepared, it becomes clear to
everyone. The careers of many young people are put onto the fast track as a result of
their coming to an important meeting after having done all their homework.

Whether it takes you hours or even days, if an upcoming meeting or interaction is

important, take the time to get on top of your subject. Be so thoroughly prepared that
nothing can faze you. Think through and consider every possibility and every
ramification. Often, this effort to be fully prepared will do more to generate the respect
of others than anything else you can do.

Remember that the power is always on the side of the person who has done the
most preparation and has the best notes. Everything counts. Leave nothing to chance.
When you do something related to your work or career, take the time to do it right⎯in

The sixth power that gives you charisma is self-reliance, or self-responsibility. The
most successful men and women in America are intensely self-reliant. They look to
themselves for the answers to their questions and problems. They never complain, and
they never explain. They take complete ownership of projects. They volunteer for
duties and step forward and accept accountability when things go wrong.

An amazing facet of human nature is that when you behave in a completely self-
reliant manner, others will often be eager to help you achieve your goals. But if you
seem to need the help and support of others, people will avoid you or do everything
possible not to get involved with you.

One of the most admirable qualities of leaders, which lends a person charisma in the
perception of others, is the capacity to step forward and take charge. The leader
accepts complete responsibility for getting the job done, without making excuses and
blaming anyone. When you become completely self-reliant, you experience a
tremendous sense of control and power that enhances your feeling of well-being and
that generates the charisma that is so important to you in attracting the help of others.

The seventh personality power is image. There is both interpersonal image and
intrapersonal image. Intrapersonal image, or self-image, is the way you see yourself
and think about yourself in any situation. This self-image has an inordinate impact on
the way you perform and on the way others see you and think about you. Your self-
image plays an important part in your charisma.

The other type of image is interpersonal. This is the image or appearance that you
convey to others. The way you look on the outside has an inordinate impact on the way
people treat you and respond to you. Successful men and women are very aware of
how they are coming across to others. They take a good deal of time to think through
every aspect of their external appearance to assure that it is helping them rather than
hurting them.

Remember that everything counts. If an element of your image is not building your
charisma and your respect in the eyes of another person, it is lowering your charisma
and your respect. Nothing is neutral. Everything is taken into the equation. Everything

The three primary factors in personal appearance are clothes, grooming and
accessories. Select your clothes with care. Before you go to an important meeting,
stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself, “Do I look like one of the best people in
my field?” If you don’t feel that you look like one of the best people in your business,
go back to the closet and change.

Look at the most successful people in your area of endeavor. What do they wear?
How do they dress? How do they wear their hair? What kind of accessories do they
use? Pattern yourself after the winners in your field, the people who already have
personal magnetism and charisma. If you do what they do, over and over, you will
eventually get the same results that they get.

The eighth form of personal power is character, or integrity. Men and women who
possess the kind of charisma that arouses the enthusiastic support of others are
invariably men and women with high values and principles. They are extremely realistic
and honest with themselves and others. They have very clear ideals, and they
continually aspire to live up to the highest that is in them. They speak well of people,
and they guard their conversation, knowing that everything that they say is being
remembered and recorded. They are aware that everything they do is contributing to
the formation of their perception by others. Everything about their character is adding
to or detracting from their level of charisma.

When you think of the most important men and women of any time, you think of
men and women who aspired to greatness and who had high values for themselves and
high expectations of others. When you make the decision to act consistent with the
highest principles that you know, you begin to develop charisma. You begin to become
the kind of person others admire and respect and want to emulate. You begin to attract
into your life the help and support and encouragement of the kind of people you
admire. You activate the law of attraction in the very best way.

The ninth power of personality is self-discipline, or self-mastery. Men and women of

charisma are highly controlled. They have a tremendous sense of inner calm and outer
resolve. They are well-organized, and they demonstrate willpower and determination in
everything they do.

The very act of being well-organized, of having clear objectives and of having set
clear priorities on your activities before beginning, gives you a sense of discipline and
control. It causes people to respect and admire you. When you then exert your self-
discipline by persisting in the face of difficulties, your charisma rating goes up.

Men and women who achieve leadership positions, who develop the perception of
charisma in others, are invariably those who possess indomitable willpower and the
ability to persist in a good cause until success is achieved. The more you persist when
the going gets rough, the more self-discipline and resolve you develop, and the more
charisma you tend to have.

The tenth power that you can develop, which underlies all of the other powers that
lead to charisma, is result-orientation. In the final analysis, people ascribe charisma to
those men and women who they feel can most enable them to achieve important goals
or objectives.

We develop great perceptions of those men and women we can count on to help us
achieve what is important to us. Men and women who make great sales, or who
establish admirable sales records, develop charisma in the minds and hearts of their
coworkers and superiors. They are spoken about in the most positive way. Men and
women who are responsible for companies or departments that achieve high levels of
profitability also develop charisma. They develop what is called the “halo effect.” They
are perceived by others to be extraordinary men and women who are capable of great
things. Their shortcomings are often overlooked, while their strong points are
overemphasized. They become charismatic.

Charisma actually comes from working on yourself. It comes from liking and
accepting yourself unconditionally as you do and say the specific things that develop
within you a powerful, charismatic personality.

When you set clear goals and become determined and purposeful, backing those
goals with unshakable self-confidence, you develop charisma. When you are
enthusiastic and excited about what you are doing, when you are totally committed to
achieving something worthwhile, you radiate charisma. When you take the time to
study and become an expert at what you do, and then prepare thoroughly for any
opportunity to use your knowledge, skill or experience, the perception that others have
of you goes straight up. When you take complete responsibility and accept ownership,
without making excuses or blaming others, you experience a sense of control that leads
to the personal power that is the foundation of charisma. When you look like a winner
in every respect, when you have the kind of external image that others admire, you
build your charisma. When you develop your character by setting high standards and
then disciplining yourself to live consistent with the highest principles you know, you
become the kind of person who is admired and respected everywhere. You become the
kind of person who radiates charisma to others. Finally, when you concentrate your
energies on achieving the results that you have been hired to accomplish, the results
that others expect of you, you develop the reputation for performance and achievement
that inevitably leads to the perception of charisma.

You can develop the kind of charisma that opens doors for you by going to work on
yourself, consistently and persistently, and becoming the kind of person everyone can
admire and look up to. That’s what charisma is all about.
The Power of Positive Self-Talk
By: Brian Tracy

Perhaps the most powerful influence on your attitude and personality is what you
say to yourself, and believe. It is not what happens to you, but how you respond
internally to what happens to you, that determines your thoughts and felling and,
ultimately, your actions. By controlling your inner dialogue, or “self-talk,” you can
begin to assert control over every other dimension of your life.

Your self-talk⎯the words that you use to describe what is happening to you, and
to discuss how you feel about external events⎯determines the quality and tone of
your emotional life. When you see things positively and constructively and look for
the good in each situation and each person, you have a tendency to remain naturally
positive and optimistic. Since the quality of your life is determined by how you feel,
moment to moment, one of your most important goals should be to use every
psychological technique available to keep yourself thinking about what you want and
to keep your mind off of what you don’t want, or what you fear.

Arnold Toynbee, the historian, developed what he called the “challenge-response

theory” of history. In studying the rise and fall of 20 major world civilizations,
Toynbee concluded that each civilization started out as a small group of people — as
a village, as a tribe or in the case of the Mongol empire, as just three people who
had survived the destruction of their small community.

Toynbee concluded that each of these small groups faced external challenges,
such as hostile tribes. In order to survive, much less thrive, these small groups had
to reorganize themselves to deal positively and constructively with these challenges.

By meeting each of these challenges successfully, the village or tribe would grow.
Even greater challenges would be triggered as a result. And if this group of people
continued to meet each challenge by drawing upon its resources and winning out, it
would continue to grow until ultimately it became a nation-state and then a
civilization covering a large geographical area.

Toynbee looked at the 21 great civilizations of human history, ending with the
American civilization, and concluded that these civilizations began to decline and fall
apart when their citizens and leaders lost the will or ability to rise to the inevitable
external challenges occasioned by their very size and power.

Toynbee’s theory of civilizations can be applicable to our life as well.

You are continually faced with challenges and difficulties, with problems and
disappointments, with temporary setbacks and defeats. They are an unavoidable
and inevitable part of being human. But, as you draw upon your resources to
respond effectively to each challenge, you grow and become a stronger and better
person. In fact, without those setbacks, you could not have learned what you needed
to know and developed the qualities of your character to where they are today.

Much of your ability to succeed comes from the way you deal with life. One of
the characteristics of superior men and women is that they recognize the inevitability
of temporary disappointments and defeats, and they accept them as a normal and
natural part of life. They do everything possible to avoid problems, but when
problems come, superior people learn from them, rise above the, and continue
onward in the direction of their dreams.

Dr. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania has written a fascinating

book based on his 25 years of research into this subject. It’s titled Learned
Optimism. In this book, Dr. Seligman explains the basic response patterns of both
positive and negative people. As a result of his many years of work in cognitive
therapy, and the use of exhaustive testing, he finds, quite simply, that optimistic
people tend to interpret events in such a way that they keep their minds positive and
their emotions under control.

Optimists develop the habit of talking to themselves in constructive ways.

Whenever they experience an adversity, they immediately describe it to themselves
in such a way that it loses its ability to trigger negative emotions and feelings of

Dr. Seligman says that are three basic differences in the reactions of optimists
and pessimists. The first difference is that the optimist sees a setback as temporary,
while the pessimist sees it as permanent. The optimist sees an unfortunate event,
such as an order that falls through or a sales call that fails, as a temporary event,
something that is limited in time and that has no real impact on the future. The
pessimist, on the other hand, sees negative events as permanent, as part of life and

For example, let’s say that the optimistic salesperson makes 10 calls on likely
prospects, and every one of those calls is unsuccessful. The optimist simply
interprets this as a temporary event and a matter of averages or probabilities. The
optimist concludes that, with every temporary failure, he is moving closer to the
prospect who will turn into a sale. The optimist dismisses the event and goes on
cheerfully to the 11th and 12th prospects.

The pessimist sees the same situation differently. The pessimist has a tendency
to conclude that 10 unsuccessful sales calls is an indication that the economy is
terrible and that there is no market for his product. The pessimist generalizes and
begins to see the situation and his career as hopeless. While the optimist just shrugs
it off and gets on with the next call, the pessimist becomes discouraged and loses
heart and enthusiasm for the hard work of prospecting.

The second difference between the optimist and the pessimist is that the optimist
sees difficulties as specific, while the pessimist sees them as pervasive. This means
that when things go wrong for the optimist, he looks at the event as an isolated
incident largely disconnected from other things that are going on in his life.
For example, if something you were counting on failed to materialize and you
interpreted it to yourself as being an unfortunate event, but something that happens
in the course of life and business, you would be reacting like an optimist. The
pessimist, on the other hand, sees disappointments as being pervasive. That is, to
him they are indications of a problem or shortcoming that pervades every area of

If a pessimist worked hard to put together a business deal and it collapsed, he

would tend to assume that the deal did not work out was because the product or the
company or the economy was in poor shape and the whole business was hopeless.
The pessimist would tend to feel helpless, unable to make a difference and out of
control of his destiny.

The third difference between optimists and pessimists is that optimists see events
as external, while pessimists interpret events as personal. When things go wrong,
the optimist will tend to see the setback as result from external factors over which
one has little control.

If the optimist is cut off in traffic, for example, instead of getting angry or upset,
he will simply downgrade the importance of the event by saying something like, “oh,
well, I guess that person is just having a bad day.”

The pessimist has a tendency to take everything personally. If the pessimist is

cut off in traffic, he will react as though the other driver has deliberately acted to
upset and frustrate him. The pessimist will become angry and negative and want to
strike out and get even. Often, he will honk his horn or yell at the other driver.

There is a natural tendency in all of us to react emotionally when our

expectations are frustrated in any way. When something we wanted and hoped for
fails to materialize, we feel a temporary sense of disappointment and unhappiness.
We feel disillusioned. We react as though we have been punched in the “emotional
solar plexus”.

The optimistic person, however, soon moves beyond this disappointment. He

responds quickly to the adverse event and interprets it as being temporary, specific
and external to himself. The optimist takes full control of his inner dialogue and
counters the negative feelings by immediately reframing the event so that it appear
positive in some way.

Napoleon Hill, who, prior to writing his best-selling books on success, interviewed
500 of the most successful people in America, concluded that “Contained within a
setback or disappointment is the seed of an equal or greater advantage or benefit.”
And this is one of the great secrets of success.

Since your conscious mind can hold only one thought at a time, either positive or
negative, if you deliberately choose a positive thought to dwell upon, you keep your
mind optimistic and your emotions positive. Since your thoughts and feelings
determine your actions, you will tend to be a more constructive person, and you will
move much more rapidly toward the goals that you have chosen.

It all comes down to the way you talk to yourself on a regular basis. In our
courses of problem solving and decisions making, we encourage people to respond to
problems by changing their language from negative to positive. Instead of using the
word problem, we encourage people to use the word situation. You see, a problem is
something that you deal with. The event is the same. It’s the way you interpret the
event to yourself that makes it sound and appear completely different.

Even better than situation is the word challenge. Whenever you have a difficulty,
immediately reframe it and choose to view it as a challenge. Rather than saying, “I
have a problem,” say, “I have an interesting challenge facing me.” The word
challenge is inherently positive. It is something that you rise to that makes you
stronger and better. It is the same situation, only the word that you are using to
describe it is different.

The best of all possible words is the word opportunity. When you are faced with a
difficulty of any kind, instead of saying, “I have a problem,” you can say, “I am faced
with an unexpected opportunity.” And if you concentrate your powers on finding out
what that opportunity is—even if it is only a valuable lesson—you will certainly find
it. As the parable says, “Seek and ye shall find, for all who seek find it.”

One of my favorite affirmative statements, which I use to deal with any

unexpected difficulty, is this: “Every situation is a positive situation if viewed as an
opportunity for growth and self-mastery. Whenever something goes wrong,
immediately neutralize its negative power by quickly reciting this statement.

If you are in sales, and your method of prospecting is not generating the results
that you desire, you can view it as an opportunity for growth and self-mastery. The
adversity you are facing may be meant to indicate to you that there is a better way
to approach this task. Perhaps you should be prospecting in a different place, or with
different people, or using a different script or a different method. Perhaps your
difficulty is simply part of the process of developing the persistence and tenacity that
you need to become successful in any kind of market. The difference between the
winner and the loser is that the winner faces and deals with the adversity
constructively, while the loser allows the adversity to overwhelm him.

The hallmark of the fully mature, fully functioning, self-actualizing personality is

the ability to be objective and unemotional when caught up in the inevitable storms
of daily life. The superior person has the ability to continue talking to himself in a
positive and optimistic way, keeping his mind calm, clear and completely under
control. The mature personality is more relaxed and aware and capable of
interpreting events more realistically and less emotionally than is the immature
personality. As a result, the mature person exerts a far greater sense of control and
influence over his environment, and is far less likely to be angry, upset, or

The starting point in the process of becoming a highly effective person is to

monitor and control your self-talk every minute of the day. Keep your thoughts and
your words positive and consistent with your goals, and keep your mind focused on
what you want to do and the person you want to be.

Here are five ideas you can use to help you to be a more positive and optimistic

First, resolve in advance that no matter what happens, you will not allow it to get
you down. You will respond in a constructive way. You will take a deep breath, relax
and look for whatever good the situation my contain. When you make this decision in
advance, you mentally prepare yourself so that you are not knocked off balance
when things go wrong, as they inevitably will.

Second, neutralize any negative thoughts or emotions by speaking to yourself

positively all the time. Say things like, “I feel healthy! I feel happy! I feel terrific!”
As you go about your job, say to yourself, I like myself, and I love my work!” Say
things like, “Today is a great day; it’s wonderful to be alive!” According to the law of
expression, whatever is expressed is impressed. Whatever you say to yourself or
others is impressed deeply into your subconscious mind and is likely to become a
permanent part of your personality.

Third, look upon the inevitable setbacks that you face as being temporary,
specific and external. View the negative situations as a single event that is not
connected to other potential events and that is caused largely by external factors
over which you can have little control. Simply refuse to see the event as being in any
way permanent, pervasive or indicative of personal incompetence of inability.

Fourth, remember that it is impossible to learn and grow and become a

successful person without adversity and difficulties. You must contend with and rise
above them in order to become a better person. Welcome each difficulty by saying,
“That’s good!” and then look into the situation to find the good in it.

Finally, keep your thoughts on your goals and dreams, on the person you are
working toward becoming. When things go wrong temporarily, respond by saying to
yourself, “I believe in the perfect outcome of every situation in my life.” Resolve to
be cheerful and pleasant, and resist every temptation toward negativity and
disappointment. View a disappointment as an opportunity to grow stronger, and
about it to yourself and others in a positive and optimistic way.

When you practice positive self-talk, and keep your words and your mental pictures
consistent with your goals and dreams, there is nothing that can stop you from being
the success you are meant to be.


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